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Copyright Compliance: Guidelines for Educational Uses of Music

Information about Copyright and Fair Use as it applies to the educational setting.

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Guidelines for Educational Uses of Music

The purpose of the following guidelines is to state the minimum and not the maximum standards of educational fair use under Section 107 of H.R. 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.

Moreover, the following statement of guidelines is not intended to limit the types of copying permitted under the standards of fair use under judicial decision and which are stated in Section 107 of the Copyright Revision Bill. There may be instances in which copying which does not fall within the guidelines stated below may nonetheless be permitted under the criteria of fair use.

  1. Permissible Uses
    1. Emergency copying to replace purchased copies which for any reason are not available for an imminent performance provided purchased replacement copies shall be substituted in due course.
    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 or the lyrics, if any, altered or lyrics added if none exist.
    4. A single copy of recordings of performances by students may be made for evaluation or rehearsal purposes and may be retained by the educational institution or individual teacher.
    5. A single copy of a sound recording (such as a tape, disc, or cassette) 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. (This pertains only to the copyright of the music itself and not to any copyright which may exist in the sound recording.)
  2. Prohibitions
    1. Copying to create or replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations or collective works.
    2. Copying of or from works intended to he "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, except as in A(1) and A(2) above.
    5. Copying without inclusion of the copyright notice which appears on the printed copy.

Excerpted from: United States. Library of Congress. Copyright Office. Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians. Circular 21. Washington: U.S. Copyright Office, 2009. Web. 10 Aug. 2010.

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