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Recorded Music

These guidelines arose from the Conference on Fair Use (CONFU) report and represent the suggested conditions under which educators can use copyright protected materials without needing consent from the copyright holder.

The following uses are permitted:

  1. Emergency duplication to replace purchased copies which are not available for an imminent performance, provided that purchased replacement copies are obtained in due course.
  2. For academic purposes other than performance, single or 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 percent of the whole work. The number of copies must not exceed one copy per student.
  3. Printed copies that 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.
  4. A single copy of a sound recording of performances by a student(s) may be made for evaluation or rehearsal purposes and may be retained by the educational institution or individual teacher.
  5. A single copy 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.

The following uses are prohibited:

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

Note: Including a sound file on a web page violates the single copy rule for sound recording. Each time a web page is viewed and sounds included in it are played, it is considered a copy of the sound recording.

The guidelines above only define the limits of fair use. If you wish to use material beyond the scope mentioned above you may do so, but you will first need to obtain permission from the copyright holder. If you need assistance obtaining permission, contact the Course Reserves and Copyright Services office.

For More Information

Copyright Law: An Introduction

Copyright for Music Librarians