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Home > Using Copyright > Guidelines > Educational Uses of Music

Educational Uses of Music

    Scope of guidelines:
  • Emergency copying of printed music
  • Multiple copies of excerpts of works
  • Single copy of recording
  • No provisions for performance rights
  • Intended as minimum standard of fair use

UW has not adopted official guidelines for determining fair use.

The guidelines in this section have been abstracted from the legislative notes associated with the implementation of the current copyright law in 1976. The text of the legislative notes is available in: Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians
(Library of Congress, Copyright Office, Circular 21, 1995)

About the guidelines
These guidelines address making copies of printed sheet music and recordings for emergency replacement and academic purposes other than performance.

The stated purpose of the guidelines is to articulate "the minimum and not the maximum standards of educational fair use under Section 107." The notes also state that "there may be instances in which copying which does not fall within the guidelines stated below may nonetheless be permitted under the criteria of fair use."

How to use the guidelines
Remember that the guidelines are not law. They only address making copies of printed sheet music and recordings for emergency replacement and academic purposes other than performance. If you wish to copy or use music for other purposes, such as using musical selections on a course web page, these guidelines do not apply.

This does not mean your use is not a fair use, only that you must evaluate your use in accordance with the fair use consideration factors provided in Section 107 of the Copyright Act.

Fair use guidelines for educational uses of music
  1. Permissible Uses
    1. Emergency copying to replace purchased copies which for any reason are not available for an imminent performance provided purchased replacement copies shall be substituted in due course.
      1. For academic purposes other than performance, multiple copies of excerpts of works may be made, provided that the excerpts do not comprise a part of the whole which would constitute a performable unit such as a section, movement or aria, but in no case more than 10% of the whole work. The number of copies shall not exceed one copy per pupil.
      2. For academic purposes other than performance, a single copy of an entire performable unit (section, movement, aria, etc.) that is,
        1. confirmed by the copyright proprietor to be out of print or
        2. unavailable except in a larger work, may be made by or for a teacher solely for the purpose of his or her scholarly research or in preparation to teach a class.
    2. Printed copies which have been purchased may be edited or simplified provided that the fundamental character of the work is not distorted or the lyrics, if any, altered or lyrics added if none exist.
    3. A single copy of recordings of performances by students may be made for evaluation or rehearsal purposes and may be retained by the educational institution or individual teacher.
    4. A single copy of a sound recording (such as a tape, disc or cassette) of copyrighted music may be made from sound recordings owned by an educational institution or an individual teacher for the purpose of constructing aural exercises or examinations and may be retained by the educational institution or individual teacher. (This pertains only to the copyright of the music itself and not to any copyright which may exist in the sound recording.)

  2. Prohibitions
    1. Copying to create or replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations or collective works.
    2. Copying of or from works intended to be ''consumable'' in the course of study or of teaching such as workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and answer sheets and like material.
    3. Copying for the purpose of performance, except as in A(1) above.
    4. Copying for the purpose of substituting for the purchase of music, except as in A(1) and A(2) above.
    5. Copying without inclusion of the copyright notice which appears on the printed copy.

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Guidelines: Fair Use
Guidelines: Fair Use
Educational Copying
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