Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual Property Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer
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Assuming the works are covered by copyright law (meaning these notes were published before 1923 then let me explain the fair use excpetion
Generally speaking, under copyright law copyrighted material cannot be used (for example copied) without the permission of the copyright holder. Under certain circumstances one can use copyrighted materials for a public good. One such public good is the ability to use the copyrighted material in educational. settings. However,
over the course of time court cases have determined this to mean limited use in a classroom setting
whether this would also mean that the kids cannot take the music sheet home and return them in the future is not entirely clear
It is true that the children can copy the sheet music but they can also snap a picture of it in school or use a school copying machine to do it...
in addition, think of the bad PR for a publishing company that goes after a school that permits its students to take the sheet music home so they could practice
So, you're confusion is justified because there is no bright line as rule as to what to do in this situation. Sometimes it best let lying dogs sleep an if the school always permitted the students to take home sheet music home and it resulted in no major issues or you've heard of no issues in other school nationwide then you should consider to continue the practice until further developement
In the alternative, if you fund sheet music that was published before 1923 then that music is in the public domain and can be freely used and copied
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The issue is, every parent i ask with their own kids in different schools in a band confirms that they have copies of music on hand! just like what i have in the past. So anybody can be interpreting this law differently?
Does this not inhibit my kid in expanding her skills by not being able to practice the material at home, because they can never memorize those songs after performance.
it may inhibit your child but from the point of view of a copyright holder you should then buy the sheet music. The point I was making is, if this is not a big nationwide problem I would not necessarily worry about it although the music teacher has the right to decide not to send the sheet music and they you would have to purchase it
typo: and then you would have to purchase it
the music teacher may not be willing to take the risk as small as it may be and that is their prerogative
As an idea, find out if your local library (or the school's library...) carries this sheet music and borrow it. The copies contained in libraries are specifically licensed for borrowing so you would have not issue or concern.
In conclusion, tn this litigious day and age the teacher probably feels uneasy. Look in the library or find a cheap used copy you buy.
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