Licensing sheet music and videos for teachers

Copyright matters affecting music and musicians.
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ranchdog
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Licensing sheet music and videos for teachers

Post by ranchdog » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:43 pm

Hi there,

I've been teaching music lessons for some time and am now getting involved in a project of putting together electronic material, including video lessons, for students.

Most of my teacher friends are completely non-IT savvy and have expressed an interest in buying some of my lesson resources (sheet music, videos, audio recordings etc.) to use in their lessons.

So what I'd like to do is charge a small fee to give teachers a limited license to copy and use these materials for their own teaching purposes. But obviously what I don't want them doing is making this material publicly accessible or for them to sell it on commercially.

How am I best protecting myself in this scenario?

TIA,

Andy

ranchdog
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Post by ranchdog » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:50 pm

Oh, and I should have mentioned although I think this would mainly be of interest to teachers in the UK, I don't want to limit myself to just the UK. I know it's probably a big question but how do I protect myself globally? :)

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:55 pm

Hi Andy,
Although it is not a legal requirement, it is sensible to mark all your materials with the © symbol together with the year of publication, your name and a means of contacting you such as a telephone number or an email address or URL of your website.
Virtually all the major nations of the world are signatories to the Berne Convention or another treaty called TRIPS, which means that they will recognise your copyright in their territory. However, actually enforcing copyright where you discover an infringement will require you to take action through their legal system, which will be both costly and complicated.
One way of dealing with licensing is for you to join a copyright collecting society, and let them deal with issuing licences to use your work. I think a good place to start would be the Copyright Licensing Agency, although they don't deal specifically with music or videos, but they should be able to point you in the right direction for those materials. There is a downside to this method and that is that the collecting society take an administration fee out of anything they collect on your behalf, and they don't deal with specific licences for each work their members create, but instead charge schools and colleges etc a fee for a general licence (somewhat like getting a TV licence which then allows you to watch BBC TV, ITV and Sky) and share the proceeds amongst their members. The up side is that they have reciprocal arrangements with collecting societies in other countries and so can obtain fees from overseas users for you.
I hope this helps.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

typonaut
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Re: Licensing sheet music and videos for teachers

Post by typonaut » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:23 am

ranchdog wrote: So what I'd like to do is charge a small fee to give teachers a limited license to copy and use these materials for their own teaching purposes. But obviously what I don't want them doing is making this material publicly accessible or for them to sell it on commercially.

How am I best protecting myself in this scenario?
Andy has given you some idea of the role collecting societies work. But I'm not really sure that is your question.

Perhaps what you are asking is how you restrict/allow the copying/distribution of your work?

If this is the case then you need to state on your licence for the work that redistribution/copying is not allowed, except that physical (ie bits of paper) copies may be distributed to students in classes held by the teacher who purchases the licence...

You could restrict the licence in various ways, for example by stating that the licence for distribution expires one year after purchase, etc.

You probably need to get professional advice on licence drafting.
Any comment on this forum is just banter, it is not legal advice.

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Post by ranchdog » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:21 am

Hi guys - thanks so much for the information, very useful. Yes, I just really need to know what I need to put in this license or if there's any examples of similar licenses that you're aware of. Plan is for it to just form part of the T's & C's on checkout to keep things relatively simple. It sounds like my options are pretty flexible so I'll give this some more though and perhaps enlist some professional help.

Thanks again!

Andy

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:38 am

Hi Andy,
I'm not aware of any template licence that would match your exact needs, but you may find something on the Own-It site. Obviously as most of their contracts cost £35, you need to make sure any you choose really meets your requirements. Or you could contact them for advice, which is free.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

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