Copyright Resources for Musicians and Educators

Copyright law and its implications affect musicians and educators every day, yet most of us have little to no understanding of it.  Whether majoring in performance or education, undergraduate courses of study rarely present an introduction to the subject, let alone offer any courses that study it in detail.  It is challenging to know what is permissible under the law, and what exactly is allowed under the doctrine of ‘fair use.’  Violations of copyright occur frequently in our schools mostly due to the lack of education on the subject, and, like it or not, use in an educational setting alone does not necessarily constitute compliance with the ‘fair use’ provision of the law.  With increased scrutiny and debate over copyright infringement on the internet, the staff at Stanton’s would like to recommend the following resources to shed light on the subject for musicians and educators alike.  They are presented in order of increasing detail, and we highly recommend The Teacher’s Guide to Music, Media, and Copyright Law for music educators.  In addition, YouTube in Music Education is a great resource for those looking to use this technology to enhance their programs, but have concerns about how to do so appropriately.

Music Copyright Basics – Joel Leach
What is copyright?  This seemingly simple question often causes confusion with its complex answers.  In Music Copyright Basics, professor and expert copyright witness Joel Leach answers frequent questions in a straightforward, easy-to-use format.  Whether you are searching for a simple answer to a common question or want a general knowledge of the copyright procedure, this book will quickly provide you with the information you want.  Music Copyright Basics features: a convenient question-and-answer format; easy-to-understand answers to all your copyright questions; coverage of copyright basics, copyright submission process, copyright ownership, copyright and earnings potential, and international copyright; and a compact, portable design that keeps information easily at hand. (2003)

The Teacher’s Guide to Music, Media, and Copyright Law – James Frankel
The easy-to-understand guide for teachers using copyrighted music and media in the classroom.  In this era of unprecedented access to information, teachers have a wealth of readily available resources for lesson planning, but determining what you can and can’t use legally in the classroom is a difficult task.  Written by a 15-year veteran of the New Jerseypublic schools, The Teacher’s Guide to Music, Media, and Copyright Law helps explain just how information, images, video, and music can be incorporated into any kind of lesson plan without running afoul of copyright laws.  This resource includes: what resources you can use without obtaining permission, how to obtain and license the works you need permission to use, how to check the copyright status of any media item, and how to apply copyright legality examples to real classroom situations. (2009)

Music Copyright Law – Moser & Slay
Music Copyright Law will help you gain an in-depth understanding of a topic that is vital to the success of anyone in or entering the music industry.  From songwriters and performers to managers, producers, and agents, everyone is affected by the issues covered in this book.  Avoiding the technical jargon and “legalese” that bogs down other books on the subject, this book explores the world of copyright law and homes in on how it applies to music.  It begins by building a foundational knowledge of the fundamentals of copyright law – what it protects, the benefits of registering a copyright, and what to do when copyright has been infringed.  Once the fundamentals are established, coverage expands to include controversies involving copyright and music in the digital age and the debates over online music.  Packed with practical examples that bring complex concepts to life, this book is a must-have for any professional in or entering the music business. (2012)

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Categories: Church Choral, Classroom General Music, Concert Band, Jazz, Marching Band, Music Education, Orchestra, Organ Music, Piano Music, Popular Music, School Choral, Solo & Ensemble, Staff Picks, Teacher Materials, Vocal Music

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