Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Copyright Licence to save schools time and money

As I’m sure you are aware, the photocopying of printed has been a thorny problem within schools.

Music publishing is one of the few industries that does not currently issue licences to authorise the currently illegal activity of photocopying. The law is widely misunderstood, and commonly broken.

The Music Publishers Association has decided to develop a Schools Printed Music Licence. The licence authorises the making of copies or practical arrangements of printed sheet music for use in schools. It has clearly defined parameters and has been designed to legitimise current activity whilst protecting composers’ and authors’ rights.

Needless to say there are limitations to the right to photocopy:

-There is an overall prohibition on using the licence to substitute for purchase of a publication

-Schools must own a copy of any publication they copy

-Copies can only be used for school purposes and must not be used for individual or group instrumental or vocal teaching

-Borrowed or hired publications may not be copied

-Only members of staff may make copies

-Choral leaflets may not be copied

-Only 10% of the items in anthologies, albums and multi movement vocal scores can be copied

-Publishers may exclude publications if they wish

The licence is in the experienced hands of the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) who have administered educational licences for nearly 30 years. The Schools Printed Music Licence will complement their existing portfolio of licences and comes into effect on 1 April 2013

The licence has already been purchased centrally by the Department for Education for all state supported schools in England thereby leaving school departmental budgets intact and allowing schools to continue purchasing sheet music. We understand that Academies are also covered by this licence, but for the avoidance of doubt, it might be best to confirm this!

Schools will be encouraged to continue purchasing music legitimately whilst new resources currently being developed by the MPA will explain to all users of printed music that photocopying and otherwise reproducing scores is illegal without an appropriate licence.

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