Fair use - scores submitted to contests

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by euphoria, May 2, 2013.

  1. euphoria

    euphoria Member


    I am going to the European Championships tomorrow (as a spectator) and a question just came to me. Since the Europeans includes an own choice selection would the bands have to buy 3 additional scores to submit to the adjudicators or would photocopies fall into the "fair use" categori?

    I am aware that in this case the added expence (perhaps 3 * 20 quid) would be negligable to the overall cost of attending the championships, but what about an entertainment contest with perhaps 6 or 7 items played and 2 or 3 adjudicators. Then it amounts to quite a large sum of money.

    Just wondering - hopefully not opening a can of worms.

    Cheers Erik
  2. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    slightly off the topic but related: I have asked the question also of my local association who have a rule that the score should be an unmarked copy - which by definition is going to have to mean a new unused one.
    A score with my markings on it doesn't mean it is me conducting nor the band who may have their stamp on the score and to be honest, I can't see an adjudicator being swayed by anything I may have marked on a score. If he is, then maybe he should know the work a little better anyway!

    Having said that, in my area, L&SC, if a work has been used at the Regional Contest, the area committee are happy to lend you a score.

    As to the copyright, there are a few on here who will know the correct answer to that.
  3. fsteers

    fsteers Member

    Here in the US, this would definitely NOT be considered "fair use." In fact, most contests specifically state in their written requirements that photocopies will not be accepted unless accompanied by a letter from the copyright holder specifically granting the ensemble (or performer, if it's a solo contest) permission for copies to be made for that particular contest.

    I would be surprised if EU and UK copyright law differed from US law in that regard.

    @Pauli Walnuts - the problem with markings on a score is that, subconsciously, they create expectations in the mind of the person reading the score, which, in the case of an adjudicator, can influence him or her to listen specifically for a particular effect marked in the score and penalize a band for not performing/performing the effect (which could be the case if the conductor was someone other than the person who marked the score), or reward the band unduly for performing it when its performance might not otherwise have merited notice.

    (Of course, the other possibility is that a particular mark at a particular place in a score could be a pre-arranged signal to the adjudicators to let them know which band is currently playing and to raise their marks accordingly. ;))
  4. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Member

    I guess that the real answer is here - permission should be gained. The photocopy can be legally authorised and I would be suprised if publishers (especially those who specialise in the Brass Band market) would refuse... maybe others have experience to the contrary ?
  5. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Active Member

    Out of interest, the rules of the upcoming WMC in Kerkrade state that only original copies are permissible for the (three-man) jury. Although this may sound too prescriptive, it at least makes things less grey. As Andrew says, permission would seem to be the necessary ingredient in other cases.
  6. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    I have never had a request refused when asking for permission to make copies for special purposes on a one-off occasion.
  7. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    @Philip (or indeed any other adjuducators on here) - could you give an opinion on the point made earlier that adjudicators might be influenced by markings on the score? (Musical markings, not "Hey Phil, it's me on next" btw!).


Share This Page