- January 25, 2019 at 12:07 PM #55078
Copyright laws can be so hard to understand, but can anybody inform me on what is acceptable for copying music for classroom use? I’m especially thinking out of hymnals and suchlike. I imagine that it is not allowed, but would be happy to have some confirmation or advice on what you do. Thanks!
- February 4, 2019 at 10:30 PM #55353
In brief, photocoying music so your students can perform it is illegal. While many older hymns are in the public domain, you must still contact the publisher of the particular hymnal you wish to use for photocopying. There are provisions for making photocopies for one-time classroom use if you do not have sufficient time to contact the publisher, but these exceptions must be rare: only nine times in a given term. This permission does not apply for music that will be performed; it is specifically limited to classroom use.
I am copying a portion of the content provided by the National Association for Music Educators at https://nafme.org/my-classroom/use-by-educators/:
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:
- Make a copy of a lost part in an emergency, if it is replaced with a purchased part in due course
- Make one copy per student of up to 10% of a musical work for class study as long as that 10% does not constitute a performable unit
- Make a single recording of a student performance for study and for the school’s archive
- Make a single recording of aural exercises or tests using copyrighted material
- Make up to three copies to replace a copy that is damaged, deteriorating, lost, stolen from a public library or archive (or if the existing format has become obsolete, and if, after reasonable effort by the library/archive, an unused replacement cannot be obtained at a fair price)
- Make one copy of a short verbal or a graphic work for teacher’s use in preparation for or during a class
The following, however, are expressly prohibited:
- Copying to avoid purchase
- Copying music for any kind of performance (but note the emergency exception above
- Copying without including a copyright notice
- Copying to create anthologies or compilations
- Reproducing materials designed to be consumable (such as workbooks, standardized tests, and answer sheets)
- Charging students beyond the actual cost involved in making copies as permitted above
Note that a work may be out of print does not mean that permission is given to copy and distribute that work.
- February 5, 2019 at 10:32 PM #55355
We have a ccli licence which allows copying from hymnals, etc. Only choral works are not included.
- March 12, 2019 at 9:39 AM #55797
Is it permissible, if you have actual hard copies of the hymnals, to run a copy for your folder to make the program flow more smoothly (not having to page from this sheet music to that hymnal, etc.)? Or are you saying that technically that is not permissible?
The way I’ve tended to avoid copyright issues or needing to buy copies, when teaching the lower grades, is to just teach them stuff by memory, or write the words only on posterboard, or maybe even write the music out on posterboard with folk songs (because isn’t the problem with copying public-domain stuff the fact that you’re copying someone’s typesetting?).
In a slightly different vein, are poets just out of luck? People who write the music get reimbursed, but what about the people who write the words??
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