Obtaining permission from copyright owners

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by MartynSudworth, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. MartynSudworth

    MartynSudworth New Member

    I am arranging a 60s pop song for brass band. Obviously ;) I think it sounds great and want to consider selling it - I have a few questions, hopefully people can help me.
    1) what do I do! Do i send it to a publisher and let them sort out copyright etc
    2) do i approach the copyright owner and if so, what do I say?

    thanks for any help

  2. ronnie_the_lizard

    ronnie_the_lizard Active Member

    First step, if you haven't yet done it, is to go to the very top right hand corner of this page and click on "tMP Copyright FAQ" ;)

    Good luck.
  3. MartynSudworth

    MartynSudworth New Member

    OK, (having read the FAQ)...
    I'm thinking of arranging a pop song and think it will be great.
    What are other people's experiences in trying to sell their arrangements?
  4. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I'm going to be very careful how I say this...

    Strictly speaking you may not put pen to paper without contacting the copyright holder and getting permission to arrange. Just creating the arrangement (even if it isn't performed or published) is technically a breach of copyright.

    However, since in practice it is the publisher who arranges all the permissions, it is not unheard of for arrangers to send a completed arrangement to a publisher for them to decide on before getting permission. It's not really legal, but it happens.
  5. paulspud

    paulspud Member

    Good luck Martyn! Can you say what you are thinking of arranging??
  6. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    Most of the uk copyrights for bb are owned by one person aren't they? and it may cost you more than the sales to get permission to sell. However, if you give it to a foreign publisher to sell and sort out, they can get their countries' right for it easier and they tend to be well represented on british trade stands!

    All of which is why I am only doing my own pieces, since its' not hard to get permission.

    pm me for details of my website!

    EDIT: Comment removed upon request. SM
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2006

    TIMBONE Active Member

    Hello Martyn. What I do is this. In the first instant I email catherine.walker@musicsales.co.uk to ask if they control the copyright. If they do not, they usually pass me on to matt.smith@fabermusic.com . Both Music Sales and Faber (used to be IMP) have 3rd Party Licensing departments, a bit like brokers if you like. If neither of them control the copyright, which is quite rare for a pop song, then you will be told who to apply to.

    As Anno Draconis says, it is a bit of a chicken and egg situation. In the case of a pop song, I have always been asked to send a copy of the score for approval.

    You will need to submit a License Application. I do this when I first apply to save time. PM me, and I will tell you what information is required, some of which can be a little confusing when you start out.
  8. MartynSudworth

    MartynSudworth New Member

    "Good luck Martyn! Can you say what you are thinking of arranging??"

    but clearly I think it's so good for brass band, and so obvious to make as a trombone solo that as soon as I mention it, 20 other people will go "oh yeah" and start doing it.
    - Presumably not, but I have a feeling lots of arrangers start like this :)
  9. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Active Member

    Martyn, you can find out the UK copyright holder from the MPA (Music Publishers' Association) and take it from there.

    EDIT: Quote removed as initial comment no longer there. SM
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2006
  10. Nigel Hall

    Nigel Hall Supporting Member


    From my experience the MPA is a good place to start, they will tell you who holds the copyright and give you contact details as well. Both Catherine and Matt are very helpful but they will charge you for making the arrangement (between £25 and £50 depending on the piece) in the first place even before it gets to publication stage - the fees there are dependant on print run and selling price.

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