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Music Copyright

Use this guide to explore music copyright information and resources.

Guidelines for Educational Uses of Music

The following guidelines were developed and approved in April 1976 by the Music Publishers' Association of the United States, Inc., the National Music Publishers' Association, Inc., the Music Teachers National Association, the Music Educators National Conference, the National Association of Schools of Music, and the Ad Hoc Committee on Copyright Law Revision. New guidelines are available at the Music Publishers' Association website.

The purpose of the following guidelines is to state the minimum and not the maximum standards of educational fair use under Section 107 of HR 2223. The parties agree that the conditions determining the extent of permissible copying for educational purposes may change in the future; that certain types of copying permitted under these guidelines may not be permissible in the future, and conversely that in the future other types of copying not permitted under these guidelines may be permissible under revised guidelines.

A. Permissible Uses

  1. Emergency copying to replace purchased copies which for any reason are not available.
  2. For academic purposes other than performance, single or multiple copies of excerpts of works may be made, provided that the excerpts do not comprise a part of the whole which would constitute a performable unit such as a section, movement or aria, but in no case more than 10 percent of the whole work. The number of copies shall not exceed one copy per pupil.
  3. Printed copies which have been purchased may be edited or simplified provided that the fundamental character of the work is not distorted.
  4. A single copy of recordings of performances by students may be made or evaluation or rehearsal purposes and may be retained by the educational institution or individual teacher.
  5. A single copy of a sound recording of copyrighted music may be made from sound recordings owned by an educational institution or an individual teacher for the purpose of constructing aural exercises or examinations and may be retained by the educational institution or individual teacher. 

B. Prohibitions

  1. Copying to create or replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations or collective works.
  2. Copying of or from works intended to be "consumable" in the course of study or of teaching such as workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and answer sheets and like material.
  3. Copying for the purpose of performance, except as in A(1) above.
  4. Copying for the purpose of substituting for the purchase of music.
  5. Copying without inclusion of the copyright notice which appears on the printed copy.

Information provided by:

http://copyright.musiclibraryassoc.org/Resources/EducationalUseOfPrintedMusic

Being a Student Does Not Guarantee Free Use

What Is Fair Use?

In its most general sense, fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. In other words, fair use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement. If your use qualifies as a fair use, then it would not be considered an illegal infringement.

So what is a “transformative” use? If this definition seems ambiguous or vague, be aware that millions of dollars in legal fees have been spent attempting to define what qualifies as a fair use. There are no hard-and-fast rules, only general rules and varied court decisions, because the judges and lawmakers who created the fair use exception did not want to limit its definition. Like free speech, they wanted it to have an expansive meaning that could be open to interpretation.

Most fair use analysis falls into two categories: (1) commentary and criticism, or (2) parody.

The underlying rationale of this rule is that the public reaps benefits from your review, which is enhanced by including some of the copyrighted material

Edited from: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/what-is-fair-use/#sthash.2iGG4I5R.dpuf

Fair Use - Considerations for Film

The doctine of “fair use"  in U.S. Copyright law lists of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered “fair,” such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

These uses are powerful, but not unrestricted.  The guidelines below will help explain the restrictions on fair use. Four factors must be considered when evaluating Fair Use. 

1. PURPOSE: The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

  • The balance tips toward fair use when use is educational and non-profit, not commercial.
  • In addition, you will have a stronger case of fair use if you copy the material from a published work than an unpublished work. The scope of fair use is narrower for unpublished works because an author has the right to control the first public appearance of his or her expression.

2. NATURE: The nature of the copyrighted work;

  • The balance tips in favor of fair use for published, factual, nonfiction material; the reverse is true for unpublished*or highly creative work (music).

3. AMOUNT: The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;

  • The balance tips in favor of fair use when a portion is small, not central to the work, and tailored to the exact educational purpose intended.
  • The less you take, the more likely that your copying will be excused as a fair use. However, even if you take a small portion of a work, your copying will not be a fair use if the portion taken is the “heart” of the work. In other words, you are more likely to run into problems if you take the most memorable aspect of a work. 

4. MARKET: The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

  • The balance tips in favor of fair use when a legal copy is owned and use doesn't significantly impair sales.
  • Another important fair use factor is whether your use deprives the copyright owner of income or undermines a new or potential market. Depriving a copyright owner of income is very likely to trigger a lawsuit. This is true even if you are not competing directly with the original work. - 

See more at: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/four-factors/#sthash.nMl8aqMF.dpuf