Copyright Q (Can't find ans on fact sheet!)

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by TuTuKu, May 14, 2004.

  1. TuTuKu

    TuTuKu Active Member

    If a band buys a full set of parts, but the band is slightly larger than an average band... for example has 5 solo cornets, 2 2nd baris and 4 thirds, would it be illegal to photocopy extra parts for the extra players? or similarly if one part gets lost/destroyed, (which is so ofen the case with soloist copies) could duplicates be taken?

    After all the band has paid for the full piece, and the copies are only for internal use. It isn't stealing as such... what are the laws regarding these situations?

    TuTuKu xxx
  2. Robin Norman

    Robin Norman Member

    My understanding from what I have been taught in my 10 years in the music publishing game is that any photocopying is illegal. Unfortunately it is a common myth that you can legally copy a set for "rehearsal purposes only". In the eyes of the law it is still a copyright infringement.

    Almost any publisher worth their sort will make available a system where you can purchase additional/replacement parts, usually at a very reasonable rate.

    If, by any chance, the piece is now out of print/unavailable do you know the publisher ? If you contact them direct they will usually grant you a license to copy parts 'for your own use' to replace missing parts for, again, a very nominal fee; if anything.

    Music copyright law is an absolute minefield but it is always best to check the legal position and, if in doubt, don't do it. The MPA and the publishers themselves will always do everything they can to help and advise you so why not ask them (after all that is what they are paid to do) and the fines nowadays for infringements can be anything up to £25,000 per offence (so if, for example, you copy two sets of music that counts as two offences hence a maximum fine available of £50,000 !!!).

    Recently some choral socities have been 'caught' with photocopied music by the MPA and the ensuing legal action cost the society a 5-figure sum. Isn't it better to spend a few pounds on some additional parts or, at worst, a full set at £20 (Ish) rather than this mighty fine.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. :?
  3. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    It is illegal and equates to stealing (from the composer/arranger and publisher). You are only allowed to copy music - in any form - with permission from the copyright holder (usually the publisher) The myth that surrounds the fact 'We've bought it, so we can do what we want with it' is incorrect.
    When you buy a piece of music you are only paying the publisher for the costs of materials used to produce the piece. You are not buying the copyright.

    Again the answer to this is Yes, unless you have the permission from the copyright holder. If this is the situation with your band it may be worth asking the publisher, when ordering music, if you can have the extra parts required. It will cost you a few bob more, but at least you are staying on the right side of the law. Alternatively contact the publishers, explain the situation and ask for permission to copy.

    The rules of Copyright are very complicated and although our Copyright Factsheet does cover the most frequently asked questions, we admit that there is a lot of information that we have yet to cover.

    I hope this answers your questions.

  4. TuTuKu

    TuTuKu Active Member

    OK thanks for clearing that up for me, I will pass on the information

    TuTuKu xx
  5. jobriant

    jobriant Member

    Permission to Copy Parts

    A number of smaller American publishers, including my own Bayside Music Press, are addressing this issue in a different way:

    If you purchase a Brass Band, Wind Band or Orchestra piece from us, you receive the score and one copy of each part. With the purchase, you also automatically have permission to copy parts (but NOT the score) as needed for rehearsal and performance by the purchasing band or orchestra only. (In exchange for this flexibility, it's only fair that you not crank out a free copy for the band in the next town....)

    Additional scores are available for purchase.

    We recommend that the band librarian keep all the original part in the files, and distribute ONLY copies of the parts to the players. Any lost, damaged or destroyed parts can then be easily replaced for the price of making a copy.

    American wind bands are constantly lobbying our large publishing houses to adopt the same policy.
  6. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member


    Thanks for raising these questions. As Roger said earlier, we accept that there are inevitably going to ommissions from our Copyright FAQ FACT Sheet. However, when we see issues such as this, we will certainly do our best to ensure they are then added to the FAQ. Our Copyright FAQ can be considered a 'live' and thus evolving document/source and as such, following clarification from the relevant experts we are always willing to add sections into it.

    I have added two further sections to the FAQ this evening based on your questions and Rogers excellent answers.

  7. TuTuKu

    TuTuKu Active Member

    Glad to be of assistance!!
  8. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Music Copies

    What a brilliant scheme suggested by jobriant. Double benefit, publisher prints less copies and band print exactly what they need. How many bands have extra players than the "standard" publisher format. Try sharing parts with a tuba, not easy.

    On a linked note we have recently bought fair amount of music from IMP/Warner and they come with masses of extra copies - bass clef for euph, bari, EEb and BBb, treble and bass for all trombone parts, flugel and horn parts doubled in F (12 parts no good to most brass bands whatsoever).

    Could we start a campaign to have the jobriant's publishing agreement in this country? I know we have lots of arrangers and publishers on here - lets be honest about this how many bands copy extra copies for reheasal etc? If we can get you guys to OK this we remove the legal issues detailed by Robin Norman. Who will be the first to sign up to this scheme?

    If tMP is the mouthpiece of the brass band movement lets hear what we all have to say on this? We all need music but not if we are going to put our bands at risk. Lets make the copying of band parts from legally purchased copies legal - Make the Music Free
  9. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    I seem to get away with a lot of photocopying through the fair dealing system. As far as I am aware it is possible to photocopy parts of a work (surely an individual part is only a part of a work?) for educational and research purposes. Basically this means having a junior band as far as I can see (i.e. the photocopy is for musical education). Photocopying entire scores would probably still be a problem. I'm not sure if this works outside academia though and I'm not sure you would technically be allowed to use these photocopies in a public performance that is not related to an educational purpose.
  10. srtrombone

    srtrombone New Member

    You can only photocopy a maximum of 10% of any publication, (not just music) for educational purposes, this equates to the score only, or a few parts, this is how University courses 'get by' for the conducting parts of their courses, however, all photocopies should be destroyed after use, or when the piece is taken off the syllabus.

    Make music free!!!
    That's a sure way to make all composers/arrangers/printers/publishers etc. etc. unable to make a living of any kind, a very quick way to stop all but a select few from creating music. Imagine having only school bands to listen to!!!
  11. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    My father operates a similar system to that described by Jo Briant, which is particularly useful for wind bands, where there is likely to be much more variation in numbers. Each part issued bears the official "Godiva Music" stamp, and one of the conditions of copying is that the original part must be available to be checked if required, in an attempt to prevent copies being passed on to another group.
  12. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Music Copies

    I think I have been slightly misquoted by srtrombone I don't want all music to be "free" just want to be allowed to make the copies we need from legally purchased sets.

    If a band askes a publisher for spare copies or replacement parts how much extra money goes to the arranger anyway? I would suspect very little if any.

    The scheme suggested by jobriant and also adopted by Peter's Dad seems eminently reasonable and practical.

    Make the Copying of Legally Purchased Music Free.

    Not quite got the same snappy line to my campaign but hey what the hell lets go for that.
  13. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member


    and yeah, i agree..
  14. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    I think bands should be able to produce copies of parts for their own use if they so desire. Originals can easily get damaged (or dropped into the pool of dribble that is under the kit percussionists stool) and cost a fari bit of money to replace - if you damage a photocopy it costs about 1 or 2p to replace. You've paid the money for the parts you should be allowed to take reasonable steps to ensure that they are protected from damage.
  15. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Make Music Free

    Welcome to the campaign Colin. As the first tMPer to join you will be designated a Founder Member of MMF or FMMMF.
  16. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Great!! I've alway's wanted to be a FMMMF. Beats being a boc anyway!

    Surely though I should actually be a FMMCLPMF??!!
  17. srtrombone

    srtrombone New Member

    I think I was misunderstood by Francis too. As an arranger, I get absolutely nothing from PRS, MCPS for 'arranging', and yes, sorry for misunderstanding you. Personally, as I print all my own parts, I would have no problem with any Band photocopying any part that they'd already bought. The new copyright laws are a minefield, and still have lots of 'grey' areas to iron out. Personally, I think the USA have it right, 80 years from first Public Performance or date of Publication, it's then Public Domain, and it's that simple! (New arrangements are obviously copyrighted though)
  18. SteveT

    SteveT Member

    Make music free???? mmmmmm

    The problem is that composers need to be paid / encoraged!

    When you compare the cost of a brass band scores with that of an orchestral / Wind Band score... it is a bit of a joke.

    It's about time that photocopier companies paid royalties en-bloc anyway!
  19. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    As a publisher, this thread has made interesting reading.
    Firstly, on Chris's quote above, I would ask whether you apply this criteria to everything you buy? Audio Tapes, CD's, Videos, DVD's etc - because they too can easily get damaged but are also covered with a copyright protection? I presume the answer to that is no, but why should sheet music be any different?
    As we know music is copyrighted and the arranger/publishers pays a fee to the copyright holder for permission to use the work. When a band buys a set of music the music is still 'owned' by the original copyright holder. So you have only paid for the time and materials used to produce that set of music. You have not paid any monies to the original copyright holder and therefore do not have permission to copy that music. Hence the copyright that appears on 99.99 . . . % of scores and parts.

    Taken from our Copyright Fact Sheet: (It does make interesting reading!)
    COMPOSERS are denied rightful revenue. They earn little enough as it is from exercising their craft and talent. Surely we should encourage composers to be creative and not deter them. It is also much more difficult now for young composers to find a publisher, because publishers are losing revenues as a result of photocopying; they cannot afford to risk investing in young talent as they once did.
    MUSICIANS, both professional and amateur, also suffer the consequences of the illegal reproduction of music, since photocopying increases costs and so forces up retail prices. More and more works have to be deleted from catalogues and become difficult to obtain, thus limiting and reducing the repertoire.
    MUSIC RETAILERS can no longer afford to carry as much music in stock as they once did. This means that more and more of the music you want is available only on special order. Each day retailers across the country are losing a significant amount of sales because of illegal photocopying. Many are also losing business and cutting back on staff and inventory. As a result, you no longer get the prompt and efficient service you once enjoyed.
    The Future Is In Your Hands: If you have not been aware of the harmful effects of illegal photocopying, now is the time to act. It is so easy just to go on making copies of music without giving much thought to the consequences. Now that you have the facts, you can help the future of the printed music industry. You can help new composers, as well as those already established, to generate new music and be properly compensated.

    You also state that
    Photocopying denies publishers important sales data, and the consequences are enormous. Publishers see sales of a particular work falling, and so reprint fewer copies; smaller print runs result in higher print costs, which means that retail prices go up. The increase in the retail price often causes a further drop in sales. Eventually, the publisher has no choice but to put the work permanently out of print. So the reason that replacement parts cost a ‘fair bit’ is caused by the dreaded photocopier in the first instance. I think it is also worth reminding people that Brass Band music is very reasonably priced compared to other genres. It's a good job this isn't a Concert/Wind Band forum!! :D

    On the other issue of bands being allowed to photocopy parts at will. How on earth do you control this?
    Let’s say for example, I’ve paid £400 for copyright permission to arrange a work and have worked out projected sales and priced that work at £15.00 per set. What is to stop Band ‘A’ buying the piece of music, and then Band ‘B’ asking for a copy? Band ‘C’ hears band ‘B’ playing it and so on and so forth. It’s hardly going to encourage me to apply for anymore copyrights if I am unable to recover my costs. So we either lose another publisher or the price goes up to £400 per set.

    Unfortunately I don’t think we will ever be able to stop the illegal copying of sheet music - no matter how many original parts are sent out. But if this proposed method of allowing bands to photocopy at their leisure takes off I can see the cost of sheet music increasing to a degree that bands will not be able to afford the original set in the first instance. Not only will it put the future of publishers at risk it will also put the future of bands at risk. Let’s be honest it you ain’t got music you ain’t got now’t to perform.

    Obviously I am against the photocopying of music - especially when it’s mine! - but what, as an indication, would band’s require as regards to additional parts. I’m not referring to International parts here ie: Euphoniums and Tubas in Bass Clef, just traditional ‘British’ band parts.

    The normal set comprises of:
    Soprano 1
    Solo Cornet 4
    Repiano 1
    2nd Cornet 2
    3rd Cornet 2
    Flugal 1
    Solo Horn 1
    1st Horn 1
    2nd Horn 1
    1st Baritone 1
    2nd Baritone 1
    1st Trombone 1
    2nd Trombone 1
    Bass Trombone 1
    Euphonium 2
    Eb Bass 2
    Bb Bass 2
    Percussion (varies)

    I appreciated the concerns of having to share parts etc - I have first-hand experience of this with my own band - So if the general response is saying for example we need an extra Eb Bass part, an extra 2nd Cornet or 2nd Horn part then I'm quite happy to make these alterations, especially if it will help minimise the use of the dreaded photocopier.

    I look forward to you replies:

  20. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    As SA bands are not affected by contesting limits, our larger bands often have extra players, and the part allocation for SA publications takes this into account, at least in the more advanced journals. Carl would probably know better than me, but as far as I am aware a standard set now includes two of each tenor horn, baritone and tenor trombone parts, three euphs and three of each bass part. I'm not sure on the cornet parts - usually scored Solo, 1st and 2nd.