The tMP Copyright Fact Sheet

dyl

Active Member
Due to the incompatability of the new forum software and the current Article System here on tMP, the popular tMP Copyright FAQ is unavailable for viewing until the Article System is upgraded.

We have started to recreate the FAQ as a new reference thread, and it will appear here in the tMP Library in due course.

In the meantime, here's a temporary link to a PDF version of the FAQ:

The tMP Copyright Fact Sheet
 
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jingleram

Active Member
Struggling here, do I need to get permission from the copyright owner to play their piece in public?!?! Also, how do we check whether the piece is within the public domain?
 

DaveR

Active Member
No, you don't need permission from the copyright holder to perform the piece - if it is published then permission has already been granted, if it hasn't been published then you would probably have to contact the copyright holder anyway to get the music!

You would have to get permission to record the piece though.

As a rule a piece of music is in the public domain if the composer, arranger, and lyricist have all been dead for more than 70 years. In addition to this, the music had to have been published over 25 years ago. If all of these criteria are met, then it is usually public domain. There are a number of notable exceptions of course, but they are very rare. Happy Birthday is one of them!

I think that is all correct anyway - it's a while since I worked with copyright in a regular way. I'm sure somebody on here will correct me if I am wrong.

Cheers

DaveR
 

KMJ Recordings

Supporting Member
jingleram said:
Struggling here, do I need to get permission from the copyright owner to play their piece in public?!?! Also, how do we check whether the piece is within the public domain?
Public performances are governed by PRS returns.
 

Anglo Music Press

Well-Known Member
DaveR said:
As a rule a piece of music is in the public domain if the composer, arranger, and lyricist have all been dead for more than 70 years. In addition to this, the music had to have been published over 25 years ago. If all of these criteria are met, then it is usually public domain. There are a number of notable exceptions of course, but they are very rare. Happy Birthday is one of them!

DaveR
Just to put things absolutely straight. Happy Birthday isn't actually an exception - it's simply still in copyright by the normal rules. But I know what you mean! It's surprising.

So are:-
Rocking Carol
O little Town of Bethlehem (Tune Forest Green in its usual harmonisation)
Five Gold Rings (in the twelve Days of Christmas) !!
Albinoni's Adagio (not actually written by Albinoni)
 

jingleram

Active Member
Anglo Music Press said:
Just to put things absolutely straight. Happy Birthday isn't actually an exception - it's simply still in copyright by the normal rules. But I know what you mean! It's surprising.

So are:-
Rocking Carol
O little Town of Bethlehem (Tune Forest Green in its usual harmonisation)
Five Gold Rings (in the twelve Days of Christmas) !!
Albinoni's Adagio (not actually written by Albinoni)
So these pieces can't be recorded or they can?
 

KMJ Recordings

Supporting Member
They can be recorded, provided permission for their use is given. Permission for arrangement etc is also restricted in a similar fashion.
 

brasscrest

Active Member
I believe that the tune for Happy Birthday is no longer under copyright, but that the words are. The tune was taken from an existing song at the time that the lyrics were written. Separate copyright can exist on music, lyrics, and the combination of music and lyrics.

For example, the gospel song "How Great Thou Art" is lyrics written by Stuart Hine, set to a Swedish folk song. The tune is public domain. However, the words are still under copyright, and the idea of putting those words to that tune is still under copyright - so you can write a piece using the tune, you just can't title it in a way that would suggest using Hine's lyrics. And in the US, you can't print the lyrics without the music - this is a condition imposed on permission to use the lyrics by the US rights holder.
 

dagriff

New Member
Just to put things absolutely straight. Happy Birthday isn't actually an exception - it's simply still in copyright by the normal rules. But I know what you mean! It's surprising.
Piece of trivia, :)

Whilst not music, there is one exception in the Copyrights Designs and Patents Act, and that is for J M Barries "Peter Pan".

The exception is the other way around though, royalties will always have to be paid for Public Performance.



http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/Ukpga_19880048_en_28.htm#sdiv6
 

MaxPressure

Member
As a first time arranger how should i go about getting permission to arrange a piece of music ? Should i just ask for permission to arrange the piece and to submit the score to the powers that be before asking for performance / publishing permissions ?
With a known arranger the copyright holders know what sort of level to expect so would the fact that i am an unknown deter them from granting permission ?
 

Andrew Norman

Active Member
As a first time arranger how should i go about getting permission to arrange a piece of music ? Should i just ask for permission to arrange the piece and to submit the score to the powers that be before asking for performance / publishing permissions ?
With a known arranger the copyright holders know what sort of level to expect so would the fact that i am an unknown deter them from granting permission ?
Do you have anything specific in mind ? I have easy access to copyright from a number of publishers and may be able to help. PM me if youre interested.

Otherwise (from personal experience) contact the Publishers and ask how much a Licence will cost for a one-off licence (normally around £40 or so) - they will then want to approve the arrangement which may well take a year or more to do. If you then want to sell the arrangment a further licence will be necessary (renewable annually) plus payments of royalties to the copyright holder.

Good Luck
 

PeterBale

Moderator
Staff member
As a first time arranger how should i go about getting permission to arrange a piece of music ? Should i just ask for permission to arrange the piece and to submit the score to the powers that be before asking for performance / publishing permissions ?
With a known arranger the copyright holders know what sort of level to expect so would the fact that i am an unknown deter them from granting permission ?
This new service may be worth exploring:
http://www.themouthpiece.com/vb/showthread.php?t=45043
 

MaxPressure

Member
Thankyou both... I've gone down the Pennine path (so to speak) for now.... mainly as it seemed to be the way with least hassle.
 

Pondasher

Member
Is the temporary link on The tMP Copyright Fact Sheet broken as I cannot access it? If so is it possible to send it to me as an email Attachment? Many thanks, Keith
 

mikelyons

Supporting Member
I have 'permission to arrange' several pieces. I have paid the 120 quid or so per piece. Some of the contracts appear to have restrictions as to whether I can submit them to a publisher. So far I am about £600 out of pocket. Is it any wonder nobody does this kind of thing?
 
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