Lending and copying music

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Postby Ursie » Mon May 10, 2004 3:15 am

pianoannie wrote:
Ursie wrote:One of my struggles has got to be trying to find music for a beginner to go alongside or between their tutor books. At some point my students are going to come to an end of tutor books and I will have to do lots and lots of research into what I can be/should be encouraging them to play. I suppose I'm in the process of trying to put together a curriculum - and to top it all I'm more than aware that every single student is different with different needs/wants etc. and so variety has to be a key factor ???

ursie--I'd have to say that finding great music is the LEAST of my problems! I find too much great music, and have to buy it ALL!!! My husband is a saint to put up with me! :laugh:
I'd be glad to recommend some of my favorite supplemental books and/or sheet music to you, if you give me an idea of level/style/etc that you need. Start a new thread if you don't mind, so we can keep everyone's ideas about favorite supplemental pieces separate from the hodge podge that this thread is becoming. :;):


I suppose my music library has quite a lot in it now and I lend out books all the time. My teacher says that I should avoid lending out music to my students if possible because it can become very costly, especially when you don't get the music returned (that hasn't happened to me yet). However I don't really see how I can teach without lending out music. How I can expect students to pay for my learning process of what is and isn't good/suitable etc. I am very caught at the moment in preparing my students for a workshop/masterclass with my teacher. Hopefully the students will play one/two pieces plus I'm hoping to get some student to play duets. All my students are about 0-1Grade. Some are nearly ready for grade 1, some have done the prep test and those that don't practice are proceeding very slowly. I thought perhaps they could play something they are working on in their tutor books and also something not from their tutor books. There's so much to choose from I wonder what I shouldn't be missing out.
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Mon May 10, 2004 7:55 am

Ursie wrote:I suppose my music library has quite a lot in it now and I lend out books all the time. My teacher says that I should avoid lending out music to my students if possible because it can become very costly, especially when you don't get the music returned (that hasn't happened to me yet). However I don't really see how I can teach without lending out music. How I can expect students to pay for my learning process of what is and isn't good/suitable etc.

Ursie,

My interest was piqued by your comment about lending music and concerns about getting it back. Getting back lent items became a major issue in one studio that I became very familiar with. Loss of lent items was costing over $300 a semester some ten years ago. We solved the problem by instituting a refundable $50 materials fee, collected before the first formal lesson. If a student left the studio and all materials were returned, the fee was refunded in full. If not, the value of the lost, damaged or non-returned items was subtracted from the refund of the fee. This procedure essentially entirely eliminated the problem and completely eliminated the cost.

:)
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Postby Mins Music » Mon May 10, 2004 9:06 pm

Hi Ursie

I never ever lend students my personal music books. We've adopted that policy in our private lives too - "nope you can't borrow that book, but you can come and read it anytime here." We've just lost too many valuable and sometimes irreplaceable books through well meaning friends who move away or lose it somewhere!

Instead, I have a lending library I'm still in the process of building up. Legally, classical music is a cinch as most of it is in the publich domain and therefore copyright isn't an issue.
I print out sheets of music from various 'free' sights, then I laminate the copy. This laminated copy then goes into my library for students to borrow for one week only, and then they have to give it back. (It is left up to them if they would like to make a personal copy). I have a book I write the name of the music, the name of the student, the date it went out and the date it is due and a space for me to write 'returned'.
Membership at the moment is free, although an idea I had was to allow membership once a student contributes a piece of music to the lending library. A replacement fee of $2 per laminate would occur if the music is lost or badly damaged.

If I intend to use the whole or a large section of a book, I tell the parents to purchase it. It is good for the student to start building their own library. You could always make the offer, that if the student decides to quite piano all together, you would buy their music off them (at a reduced price of course) to add to your lending library. And it's been my experience that kids love to write their name on books!

As long as you're not asking them to buy a new book every month, you should be able to ask parents to purchase sheet music. It's only when they're USED to getting everything for free that they then become narky when asked to depart with their bills. I wouldn't worry about the fact it is also your learning curve. As teachers we should be continuing to learn all the time - that's partly why we get paid! - to contine to build in experience so we can benefit their children.
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Tue May 11, 2004 7:14 am

Mins Music wrote:Legally, classical music is a cinch as most of it is in the publich domain and therefore copyright isn't an issue.

Mins

Some slight cautions here: You're right that most classical music is in the public domain (classical here is defined as anything older than about 75 years - the limit for copyright protection in the U.S. and most other countries). This limit means that most 20th century music is still protected in toto by copyright. As I said in an earlier post, there have been numerous copyright infringement lawsuits in the U.S. recently and most MIDI sites have had to remove their 20th century MIDI files over copyright restrictions.

Even Beethoven and Bach works may still be protected by copyright, not in the original form, but in the form of the edition that you happen to have. Be sure to check for a copyright notice on the edition before you copy or distribute it. For more information, see my article An Introduction to Copyrights for Piano Teachers. Copyrights are about as strong legally as any intellectual property right can be. The penalties are large and the law is enforced in the U.S., though not in all countries abroad. However, Australia has strong copyright protections.

The fact that sheet music came from a "free" site does not provide you much protection under copyright law, if the music infringes a copyright somehow. If you use it or distribute it without paying royalties, you could be subject to an infringement suit. That's the reason we don't provide sheet music on PEP, though we've had many requests to do so. It's just too risky. On the whole, and as I've said in my article above, it's best just to buy a licensed copy than to run the risk of a copyright suit. :)




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Postby Mins Music » Tue May 11, 2004 8:54 pm

Absolutely Dr John. The site I download from is sheetmusicarchive.net. They state that all their music is in public domain and taken from publications in which the copyright has expired.

Some of their 20thcentury pieces has the caution that it may be illegal in some countries to make a copy.

With some copyrighted material, even lending is illegal.




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Postby pianoannie » Wed May 12, 2004 7:54 am

Mins Music wrote:With some copyrighted material, even lending is illegal.

Mins, could you please elaborate? I've never heard anything about lending music being illegal in any case. That just doesn't sound right to me!

And regarding loaning books, I must have angelic students, because it is very rare for a book to not be returned. I've been loaning out books for almost 10 years, and I think I've only lost 2 or 3, and that may have been due to my own missplacing of a book rather than a student's fault. Like mins said, I keep a notebook for signing music in and out, and it works great. I think that having this extra service (along with other special things I do) allows me to earn more than I would otherwise, so the lending library more than pays for itself.

One year I did actually charge a separate "registration fee," which was explained to cover lending library, recital costs, prizes, newsletter printing, etc. But then I decided it was simpler just to include all costs in one semester fee, and I clearly spell out that this fee covers not only my teaching time, but also lesson prep, time spent ordering/shopping for new music, the above-mentioned expenses, and so forth.
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Postby Mins Music » Wed May 12, 2004 4:39 pm

pianoannie wrote:
Mins Music wrote:With some copyrighted material, even lending is illegal.

Mins, could you please elaborate?

Before I do, I'll check through some of the books I've read this in. I too thought this was a bit extreme, but when you think of it, lending a book means one person doesn't have to pay for it, which in turn means the author/composer and publisher doesn't get their share.

But I will skim through a few of my books (!!!) to see if I can give you more detail.
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Postby pianoannie » Wed May 12, 2004 5:19 pm

Mins Music wrote:Before I do, I'll check through some of the books I've read this in. I too thought this was a bit extreme, but when you think of it, lending a book means one person doesn't have to pay for it, which in turn means the author/composer and publisher doesn't get their share.

Well, yes, lending a book means one person doesn't pay for it, but both people can't use it at the same time. If they both want equal access to the book, they have to buy two.

Public libraries loan the same book out to perhaps hundreds of people, but that's just a fact of life for authors.

Even copyrighted computer programs can be copied (ie to have one at home and one at work) so long as they are never both in use at the same time.

Well, I'll be interested to see what you find as you check through your books.
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Postby Mins Music » Wed May 12, 2004 5:20 pm

pianoannie, I've checked about an eighth of my books (!) and you're right, no where does it say you can't lend. Some say it is an infringement of copyright to publicly perform the work without written permission.

I guess public libraries would all be out of business if this WERE the case. So, now I'm stumped as to what gave me that impression. Perhaps it was a CD or computer software ... or an aeroplane ticket!!! :p Can a person go senile at 34?

Anyway, my apologies for making this statement. I was convinced I HAD read it, (perhaps the AMEB contemporary course said something along those lines because the student had to have their own copy with their AMEB number written in the book to show the examiner).

So lend away! :laugh:
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Postby Mins Music » Wed Jun 23, 2004 9:48 pm

Dr John, would it be legal for me to download some of the midis from the audition room and burn them onto CD's to give to students as gifts? ???
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Thu Jun 24, 2004 10:48 am

I would not presume to give you a bona fide legal opinion, since I am not an attorney, as to the legal status vis a vis copyrights for the MIDI files. However, both my understanding and conduct in this matter is that you can download the files, which are publicly available from other sites as well as ours, and distribute them for educational purposes, so long as: 1) you properly acknowledge PEP as the source of the files, 2) you maintain with the distribution the record of original authorship of the files that we provide, 3) you make no charge of any kind for the disk you distribute and 4) you not modify the MIDI files in any way. The simplest way of maintaining the authorship record and acknowledging PEP is to simply copy The Audition Room page HTML onto the disk you distribute. This also provides easy access to the files. You are hereby given permission to copy that page and its associated graphics files for this purpose.

For others who may be reading this post, this permission applies only to Mins Music. Others may also request permission, which is usually granted for non-profit, educational purposes, from our page, Reprinting From The Piano Education Page. :)
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Postby Mins Music » Thu Jun 24, 2004 11:16 pm

Thank you Dr John. :)
I thought it would be a good idea after talking another time with Dr Bill about exposing students to 'good' music. Although there are a lot of CD's of classical music on the market, my idea was to include pieces that are only a level or two above the students' own abilities ... hoping to provide inspiration.




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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:46 am

After re-reading this thread, I thought that there might be (at least) one additional point to make about using copyrighted works, particularly recorded or sheet music. Under the "fair use" doctrine of copyright law (in the U.S. and many other countries), the criteria for determining a fair use are:

"In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include -
1.the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2.the nature of the copyrighted work;
3.the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4.the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors." 17 U.S.C. 107 (1988 ed. and Supp. IV).


Since most uses for recorded music discussed on this site are educational in nature, such uses would meet the first criterion. But, there are three others.

One thing that can provide people with some protection from copyright challenges is to use only a small part of a copyrighted work. For example, if you only really need up to, perhaps, 50% of a work you can probably use that much of it safely in an educational situation. It would be hard for a copyright holder to argue that use of a small section of any work would affect the market for that work, except positively, if used in small pieces. Note, however, that if you used one work in its entirety from a published music collection (for example one of the Debussy preludes), you would probably be taking a chance, whereas, if you used a part of one work in the collection it would probably be considered a "fair use", so long as you had purchased the collection yourself.

I'm don't want to imply that I'm a copyright expert or attorney, nor would I suggest that a competent court would necessarily agree 100% of the time with all my comments above. I'm merely trying to suggest ways in which one could fairly use copyrighted materials in teaching, based on copyright law. I hope that some will find these comments helpful in judging likely legality of their own uses of copyrighted material.

Let me add that, given the litigious nature of large entertainment companies and the cost of defending a lawsuit ($100,000 or more) brought by them against you for copyright infringement, even being right on the law may not, in the end, matter. If they decide to make an example of you, you might not have any option but to settle for thousands of dollars, even though you're right. Moral reasons aside, this is one major reason why I have cautioned people so many times on the site about use of copyrighted materials.
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