Photocopying and all that...

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Hells Bones, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    Ok, so it's illegal to photocopy parts.

    Now, I have a problem. One of my solo albums has a solo with a DS.

    That's not a problem, but the coda is on the other side of page 2 and you play straight through.

    How do I sort that out without breaking the law and all that BS?
  2. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    And that solo album has a publisher? With contact details?
  3. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    Carl Fischer.
  4. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    I think you'll find that copying a page to deal with a turn over is within the fair use agreement - I believe this publisher is signed up to that.
  5. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    If you (or a band) have purchased a piece of music you/they (IMHO) are perfectly within your rights to make as many copies as you wish for your own use.
  6. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    It's a very grey area, this 'fair use' clause for copyrighted materials ... what I found is this ...

    "An individual may photocopy short extracts of musical works provided that they are for private study and not for performance. Photocopying whole movements or works is expressly forbidden."
  7. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    It's a 3 page piece. DS at the bottom of the second page, To Coda about three quarters down the first page and coda on the 3rd page.

    What would I do if/when I come to perform it? I can't ask the band, the MD and the audience to hang round while I turn a page.
  8. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    It's actually quite clear on this point in the MPA code of practice:

    Performance Difficulties: ​
    A performer who possesses a piece of music
    and who needs for his personal use a second copy of a page of the work
    for ease of performance due to a difficult page-turn, may make one copy
    of the relevant part for that purpose without any application to the copyright

    from the Music Publisher Associatio document:

    Unfotuntately, Carl Fischer isn't signed up to this after all unless the work is distributed over here by someone who is such as Studio Music.
  9. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    When I used to work in the reference library in leeds we often had to tell people that the wording for copyright on written sources stated that one copy of "a reasonable part" of the work may be taken for personal use or study, without infringing the copyright of the work.

    Whether Carl Fischer are signed up to the MPA guidelines or not, I believe that's the legal position. The problem is that it's so debateable what "A reasonable part" actually means!

    Not 100% watertight by any means, but I would say one page is a reasonable part - particularly as you've bought the darn thing in the first place. Generally speaking, at the library we would let customers copy one page of pretty well anything. Besides if it ever came to court, your defence could be that it's their fault for publishing a completely unplayable manuscript!

    Why is nothing ever simple where copyright is involved.... :rolleyes:
  10. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    If I was you...I would photocopy it....who cares? lol! I've done this so many times in the past I can't even count....I haven't been to jail yet either - or been arrested - or been fined or anything - no-one will either notice or care a jot.
  11. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    Alternatively - memorise it.
  12. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Just what I was going to say!
  13. Despot

    Despot Member

    ABRSM & Trinity Guildhall allow it for grades to avoid awkward page turns.

    If they allow it, I think you're safe enough!
  14. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    Well your HO is incorrect!
  15. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    So, are there different rules (with respect to photocopying) for the licensing of sheetmusic by examining bodies and general use for performance?
  16. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    Without look up the Copyright Act, I don't think the law DOES allow for this. MPA members who are part of their Code of Fair Practice do allow a percentage to be copied for study purposes or to help out with 'performance difficuties' but:-

    "The blanket licensing schemes operated by the Copyright Licensing Agency Limited on behalf of copyright owners of books, periodicals and journals

    This Code does not apply to all music; in particular
    ii it can NEVER be used or applied to IMPORTED publications"

    which the Carl Fischer item certainly is.

    The whole Code can be seen here:-
  17. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    That's a very interesting point, Philip. I certainly wasn't aware of that.

    It would be interesting to see if this MPA disclaimer is actually legal. They can certainly explicitly opt out of anything operated by the copyright licensing agency - but there's a problem.

    As the copyright act (or the Copyright, Designs and Patents act as I think it's now called) is an act of parliament, is not something that one can merely decide to 'opt out' of. (Imagine if everyone did that with the road traffic act!)

    By putting it up for sale in the UK, their work is tacitly covered by the law of the land whether they like it or not - albeit those terms are not exactly clear most of the time, and having had a look through the act, it deals a lot in general principles and very seldom in specifics.

    Without a test case to examine the legal position, it's certainly an interesting question. The advice I can find from the copyright service states that fair usage may be ok assuming (amongst other things):

    -That the quoted material is justified, and no more than is necessary is included.

    ...which including one extra page to actually play the thing does meet those criteria.

    However the advice ends with:

    -Cases dealing with fair dealing can be complex, as decisions are based on individual circumstances and judgements. This can be a very difficult area of copyright law.

    To avoid problems, if you are in any doubt, you are advised to always get the permission of the owner, prior to use.

    ...which is definitely good advice!
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  18. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    I notice Anglo Music Press isn't included in Appendix C ;) - but assume that as you set up your company after that document was written, it may not be up to date as far as appendix C is concerned?
  19. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    The Act confirms the RIGHT of the copyright owner to limit what is done with their work so a collective agreement to allow certain uses would seem to me to be perfectly legal.

    Copyright is about the rights of the creator of a work which is very different to the specifics of whetehr or not you can drive at 40 MPH through a City cenre.
  20. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    You're right ! I'm not an MPA member.

    And, while I think it is a good idea for publishers to be reasonable and flexible, I also think that to start giving away some of your rights (as you say, certainly within a rights owner's aegis) any fuzzy edges can lead to misunderstanding when 'sometimes OK' easily becomes 'always OK' as in stevetrom's post above.