What Exactly is Copyright?
Copyright refers to the right to copy. To clarify, this protects sounds and music from unauthorized revision, reproduction, distribution, and performances. As a result, copyright protects both performance and recordings. Also, owners of the copyright even afford the owner certain rights and privileges that include:
Publicly performing copyrighted works.
Reproduction of the copyrighted work.
Displayed copyrighted work.
Public distribution of copyrighted work.
Allowed - "Fair Use" for Photocopying Music
Emergency copying to replace purchased copies for an imminent performance.
For academic purposes other than a performance provided excerpts do not exceed one copy per pupil.
Printed copies that have been purchased may be edited or simplified as long as the work is not distorted.
Not Allowed - Actions for Photocopying
Copying to create or replace collective works.
Copying of or from works that intend to be consumable (ie workbooks, exercises, tests.)
Reproduction for the purpose of substituting the purchase of music.
Copying without the inclusion of the copyright notice.
There are limitations from photocopying from books and periodicals that fall under copyright law, under "Fair Use." The guidelines for this include:
Until 1972 Federal Law did not protect sound recordings. The copyright owner is the only one allowed to reproduce recordings and sheet music. However, it is important to note that there are some fair use of music education limitations. These include:
A single copy of a recording may be made of performances for the evaluation or rehearsal purposes made by the teacher.
A single copy of sound recording may be made and kept by the teacher for the purpose of aural exercises, and examinations.
Copyright - Musical Recordings With Your Own Ensemble
Anyone, under certain guidelines, can record their group (in order to produce a CD that you can sell) as long as they do the following:
Music Educators Performing Copyright Music With Their Own Performing Ensembles
Music educators are not considered infringing doing the following:
Performance of copyright material by instructors or pupils in the course of the face-to-face teaching activities.
Performance of non-dramatic literary or musical work on a closed circuit. This must be part of the systematic set of instructional activities.
Performance of non-dramatic literary or musical work at a school concert if there is no purpose of direct or indirect commercial purpose.
Performance of non-dramatic literary or musical work of a religious nature.
To obtain a digital music license visit: