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Obtaining rights for using music is somewhat easier that for other formats because there are standardized fees and license agreements for most music uses. It is also easier to find copyright owners of music and get permission through established performing rights societies such as BMI, ASCAP, SESAC and the Harry Fox Agency, which collects royalties for music publishers whenever a song is copied or reproduced (mechanical royalties). Fees vary.
Copyright law gives the artist or publisher the right to control public performances.Two copyrights must be obtained for every musical recording -- one for the song and another for the particular recording of the song. The owners could be the same or different.
|Scenario #1: Making copies of sheet music|
We are getting ready for a concert next week and the first chair trombonist has lost his music again. Can I make copies of his part?
You must get permission from the music publisher when you copy sheet music or lyrics, unless you have a license that allows you unlimited copies, if the song is in the Public Domain, or if your use qualifies as a fair use. Contact the Harry Fox Agency at http://www.harryfox.com/public/index.jsp Emergency copying to replace purchased copies of sheet music which are not available for an upcoming concert is allowed if replacement copies are purchased in a timely manner. Copies must include copyright notice.
|Scenario #2: Performing Rights -- Concerts|
Do we have to purchase performance licenses for music that our band and choral students will perform at the spring concert open to the public?
No licenses are required if the works performed have been purchased and are non-dramatic musical works (works without a narrative element such as a musical like The Music Man or My Fair Lady).
|Scenario #3: Performing Rights Transferred to Subsequent Performance|
The National Association for Music Educators, MENC, is having a World’s Largest Concert this week. We were able to download the songs off of their website. If we want to use any of these songs on a performance after March 12 we are supposed to puchase the music from Hal Leonard. There is a song I want to use in my concert program in April. They want you to purchase a teacher magazinie called music express, student edition and CD. However, I am teaching the song by rote. If I purchase the cd and magazine only, with my own funds then can I use this song on my concert?
The quantity performed and the method – by rote – are not issues in this instance. The issue is what kind of permission did MENC give educators re the World’s Largest Concert. And, each song may be under different copyright restrictions. However, on the Hal Leonard FAQ page here: http://www.halleonard.com/permissions/faq.jsp#11 if the event is a school event and no money is collected except for school purposes and no one paid to perform or guide the performance, you would be able to use the music she wants without any further action. Since you are paid as an instructor, you would need to purchase the music in order to perform it.
a good exemption for educational institutions. Performances of non-dramatic
literary or musical works can be performed outside of the educational context
without permission when:
• There is no direct or indirect commercial advantage;
• The performers or organizers are not compensated; and
• Admission is free, or
• If admission is charged, the proceeds are used exclusively for educational, religious, or charitable purposes, except if the copyright holder gives notice in writing that he objects to the performance. This notice must be received at least seven days in advance of the scheduled performance."
Complete Copyright: an Everyday Guide for Librarians. Chicago: American
Library Association, 2004, p. 55.
(call number: 346.73 COM)
Stim, Richard. Getting Permission: How to License & Clear Copyrighted Materials Online & Off. 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA:NOLO, 2004.
(call number: 346.7304 STI)