Music Permission Forms are accessible through the link.
Music companies are some of the most aggressive in protecting copyright. Many large fines have been leveled at individuals, companies, schools, and churches. You can be fined for every illegal copy plus lost revenue to the copyright holder.
The playing of a record, tape, or compact disc is considered a “performance” of the copyrighted work. All public performances of such works require permission from performance-rights organizations such as ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC, or from the copyright owner. The performance of such a work in a classroom for educational purposes is not considered a public performance, as the audience is limited. Following are some guidelines for educational use of music.
Current U.S. Copyright Law represents an attempt by Congress to balance the rights of creators and copyright proprietors with the rights of copyright users. That is, Congress wanted both to protect those that produce and own copyrighted materials (composers and publishers) and to recognize the needs of those that use and enjoy those materials (listeners, performers, and prominently, music teachers).
The compromise represented by the Law is the result of numerous congressional hearings as well as studies conducted by the U.S. Copyright Office, in connection with which a substantial amount of testimony was heard and numerous comments were received from members of both groups. Of course, debate on the best way to manage the use of creative materials was and is contentious, particularly around the specific ways that educators can properly use copyrighted works without a formal license. It is no surprise that copyright proprietors endeavor to protect the incentive for creative effort, whereas educators wish to incorporate such works in their instruction without over-restrictive regulations or costly permission fees.
Basically, the legislative compromise permits educators, subject to certain limitations and exceptions, to use copyright protected works in the classroom setting while still affording copyright proprietors significant protections against excessive or commercially-damaging unauthorized use. Using the simple ideas put forth here, music educators will be able to better focus on the core job of teaching and to protect themselves and their schools from liability -- the unpleasant possibility of being sued.
Two basic factors must be taken into consideration:
Rights of Music Copyright Owners
The U.S. Copyright Law is designed to encourage the development of the arts and
sciences by protecting the creative work of composers, authors, poets, dramatists, choreographers and others. The law deals first with the exclusive rights belonging to the owner of a copyright (which may be the composer or, if a deal has been cut, a publisher). These are things that only copyright holders can do—unless they grant specific permission to others.
These rights, as stated in the law and relating to materials likely to be used by music teachers, are:
Use by Educators—Reproducing
In 1967 and again in 1975, legislators asked for help from the field (including the organizations that sponsor this document) to develop classroom guidelines to help music teachers and others analyze these factors. Based on this legislative compromise, the intent of the law seems to be that music educators can do several things, without having secured permission of the copyright owner:
Use by Educators—Recording
The copyright owner has the exclusive right to reproduce copyrighted works in any form of audio-only recording – limited in the ways outlined previously. A common complication comes up when, in addition to recording music as part of the learning process, music educators may occasionally wish to record student performances and distribute copies of the recording within the community. Here, the teacher needs a mechanical license to do so, but the law somewhat simplifies the process for non-dramatic musical works. As long as the music has been distributed to the U.S. public under the authority of the copyright owner (who essentially gets the right to have the first try), any other person may obtain a compulsory mechanical license. That is, music teachers can pay a royalty, set by law, to the copyright owner. That rate is currently set at 8.00 cents per selection or 1.55 cents per minute of playing time, whichever is greater.
In practice, a music teacher can get such a license by contacting The Harry Fox Agency, Inc., through the web site at www.harryfox.com. There is a button on the site for “limited licensing of 2,500 copies or less” that makes licenses easy to obtain. The process is only for those who wish to make at least 500 copies, however; teachers who want to pay for fewer copies will have to and contact the publisher of the music directly. Three primary sources for this information are:
Use by Educators—Preparing Derivative Works
Making arrangements of a piece of music is an exclusive right of the copyright owner, but under the legal compromises surrounding the law, some things are considered to be reasonable exceptions:
Complete information concerning licensing of public performances of copyrighted non-dramatic musical works may be obtained from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC; together, these three organizations work for composers and publishers to handle the performance licenses for the vast majority of musical works. It should be emphasized that a performance of a dramatico-musical work — an opera, a ballet, a musical comedy, etc.— is customarily licensed by the copyright owner of the performing right or his agent. Often, this is the publisher of the music; sometimes, it is either Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc. or Rodgers & Hammerstein Library.
Although performance is one of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights, the special needs of music educators, and others, are recognized in the fair-use limitations on these. Music educators should take special notice of the very limited nature of these exemptions:
1. The Face-to-Face Exemption: To qualify for this exemption, the performance must be initiated by instructors or pupils and must occur within the context of the “face-to-face teaching activities” of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction (e.g., a library, studio or workshop). It should be noted that there is no specific restriction, in this case, on the type or amount of a copyrighted work that may be performed. This exemption is limited, and does not apply to:
4. School Concert Exemption: School ensembles, students, and teachers, can put on a performance of a non-dramatic literary or musical work at a school concert as long as no money changes hands. That is, nobody can gain any direct or indirect commercial advantage; no fee or compensation can be paid to the performers, promoters or organizers; and no admission charge can be levied. (There is even an exception to this: there can be an admission charge, but all of the proceeds must be used only for educational or charitable purposes.) The performance may not take place if the copyright owner objects in writing seven days before the performance.
Use by Educators—Display (i.e., playing it in class)
Any music educator who has purchased or otherwise lawfully acquired a copy of a copyrighted work may display/play it to those present at the place where the copy is located. A teacher, as an agent of the school, can display a copy of music that he or she owns, or a school-owned copy. The legislative compromise surrounding this part of the law indicates that displaying the image of such a copy (of sheet music, for example) by a projector would not be an infringement, whereas making an unauthorized copy—transparency, slide or filmstrip—to project would not be permissible.
Classroom Guidelines with Respect to Copyrighted Music Material
Guidelines with Respect to Copyrighted Books and Periodicals
The following websites contain links to downloadable music with few or no strings attached; many songs are free, although some are available for a small fee (after which you can use in any way you would like). Remember, buying a song on iTunes, for example, doesn’t mean that you own the song’s copyright. It means that you can personally enjoy it, not duplicate or reproduce it.
If you are unsure whether you can use the music you have in your own personal collection and want to be certain that the music you want to use in class, on your website, or in a student assignment falls into a safe area, consult one of these websites for music that is much less restricted:
Frequently Asked Questions: Music
Must a student purchase a second piece of music for their accompanist?
Accompanists must have original music to play from. Copying a single page to alleviate a difficult page turn can be justified, but copying the entire work is copyright infringement.
During juries and/or recitals, if a student has the original and the faculty wants to follow along with the music for assessment and grading purposes, may copies be made?
Copying may be permissible, but ONLY if permission is granted by the copyright holders. Write to the publisher and explain your situation. Make sure to get the permission in writing. And remember, unauthorized photocopies are copyright infringements.
(If permission is not granted, perhaps students could borrow copies among their peers, from their teachers, or at a music library.)
I'm doing research on a topic related to the effects of music on children and want to use a particular CD. Do I need to purchase a CD for each participant, or can I simply purchase one and make copies?
Copyright for music and recordings is no different than it is for books or plays. Buying only one CD and making copies is a copyright infringement. To use a CD for research purposes, contact the copyright holders to receive permission. More information can be obtained from the Music Publishers Association (http://www.mpa.org/).
Can our band legally sell videotaped copies of its concerts?
A single copy of a videotaped performance of your ensemble can be made to keep on file for reference or review. If you want to make multiple copies and distribute them, either with or without charge, you will need permission of the copyright owners for each piece of music performed on the videotape. You will also need permission from parents to have their children videotaped.
Is a public school district allowed to use recorded music of one of their school ensembles in a publication? The publication may be a TV advertisement or a CD for a business in the area. The music would be purchased according to copyright.
The school must license the music properly with a synchronization license and a mechanical license. Both are available from the Harry Fox Agency (http://www.harryfox.com) If another business is used, make sure that business is responsible for all licensing. Also, be sure to check local law regulations.
If you own a CD and then lose it, is it legal to make a copy of the CD to replace the lost CD?
No. See the list of common questions about videos. If you are talking about a software CD, archival copies of the original can be made, but cannot be transferred to another person without the original. Therefore, making a copy of another CD to replace your lost CD would be a violation of the copyright.
The orchestra I conduct is planning to perform Mozart’s Requiem. Can I photocopy the sheet music and distribute it to the performers?
This is tricky. The Requiem itself is not copyright-protected, since it was composed so long ago, but the sheet music itself may be. If the music you want to use is protected, you will need to get permission from the copyright holder if you do not wish to buy copies of it for everyone. Alternatively, you could look for another edition of the music that is not protected.
Fair Use analysis:
No, no permission is necessary. The use is permitted by §110 of the Copyright Act.
Peer to Peer File Sharing and the Law
Important Notice to all Centre College Network Users
The downloading and sharing of copyrighted files (music, videos, and software) continues to be an issue of great concern. Such actions are illegal without the express permission of the copyright holder. Both the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have a history of suing individuals who are charged with the downloading and distribution of copyrighted materials using peer-to-peer file sharing software such as Bittorrent, KaZaA, Morpheus, and LimeWire. Such violations of copyright may subject a person to civil liability (with statutory damages ranging from $200 to $150,000 per infringed work) and criminal penalties (with jail terms of up to five years).
Court rulings suggest that Centre College, as an Internet Service Provider (ISP), could be compelled to provide the identities of individuals using the campus network (whether on personally-owned or College-owned computers) who are engaged in unauthorized downloading, uploading, or distribution of copyrighted materials should a lawsuit be brought by a copyright holder such as the RIAA. Recent cases suggest that college students are being specifically targeted by the RIAA. From January through August of 2003 the University of Arizona received 300 official notices of copyright infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Students at Princeton , Rensselaer Polytechnic, and Michigan Tech have also been sued.
Accordingly, this notice is posted as a reminder that each constituent of the Centre College community is advised to comply with all applicable laws and to act wisely and judiciously in the use of peer-to-peer file sharing. Further, it is noted that infringement of copyright laws is already defined as a violation of the College's ‘Acceptable Use Policy' (found in the Student Handbook ) governing use of the College computer network. The College regulates Internet bandwidth to give higher priority to those activities that are a critical part of the instructional program and its related administrative functions; lower priorities are in place for recreational use of the bandwidth.
So, what activities are allowed?
You may rip music that you have legally purchased to MP3 format, you may store such songs in your computer or MP3 player for personal use, and you may burn “mix” CD's using your own legally obtained CD's as long as you do not distribute them to others. On the other hand, you may not distribute, upload, download, or transmit music or movies without the express consent of the copyright holder. Furthermore, you should be aware that file-sharing software comes with the default set to share all MP3's stored on your computer, thus making you a distributor even if that was not your intention. Some of these programs also contain spyware that can record computer usage, deliver advertising and other unsolicited files, and allow others access to your files and resources.
Anyone who engages in the downloading and distribution of copyrighted materials is in violation of the College's Acceptable Use Policy , and further in violation of the copyright law. It is best to educate yourself about the law governing digital copyright, and then act wisely.
Additional Information and Web Resources on Music and Copyright
Music Education Copyright Center – http://www.menc.org/information/copyright.html
Music Publishers’ Association Copyright Resource Center – http://www.mpa.org/copyright_resource_center
Music Library Association Copyright Guide – http://www.lib.jmu.edu/org/mla/
Musicians’ Intellectual Law and Resources – http://www.aracnet.com/~schornj/index.shtml
Information on Music and Recording Copyrights (R-VCR, a provider of public-domain music recordings) – http://www.r-vcr.com/music/copyright/
The Music We Perform: An Overview of Royalties, Rentals, and Rights – http://www.mola-inc.org/pdf/MusicWePerform.pdf