Music Copyright, Licensing and Performing Rights
This guide incorporates a collection of links about general copyright as well as more specific resources about aspects of copyright as it pertains to music. Please direct all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gershwin.com website’s own L & R pages provides clear licensing scenarios and definitions for which producers, composers, and musicians typically need to understand and account for.
Applicable to works first published in the U.S., this is an excellent, interactive and visual guide
Performing rights licensing organization created in 1917; now representing over 68,000 composers, writers and publishers; searchable database of works administered.
Interprets copyright in context of the library role in facilitating teaching and research. Chiefly US-centered but news on international developments is included. Excellent summaries of rights in matters such as classroom video showing.
Performing rights licensing organization representing over 180,000 composers, lyricists and publishers; searchable database of works administered. Features related music business information.
Church Musician copyright management resources
Sponsored by Indiana University, this excellent site contains information specially presented for use by graduate students, faculty, and librarians. Topics include guidance on copyright and general research dissemination, preparation of dissertations, fair use for teaching and research, and securing, managing, and sharing legal rights.
Link to current legislation, cases and issues, full-text articles on copyright and fair use, and more. Sponsored by Stanford University Libraries, the Council of Library Resources, FindLaw Internet Legal Resources, and Academic Information Resources.
Agents for Schott, Universal, and others; provides events calendar and licensing information, and composer biographies of those represented
Excellent site for all musicians, not just choral directors, with FAQ covering matters of concern such as licensing, mechanical licenses, and non-profit standing. Pertains to US copyright law. Updated in October 2008.
Represents more than 14,500 American music publishers; established in 1927 by the National Music Publishers Association, monitors licensing of music copyrights for performances, recordings, broadcasting and visual media.
Compiled by attorney Ronald B. Standler, a good essay efficiently introduces issues for print and recorded music and essential links are provided. Start here, too, for the web approach to the U.S. Copyright Office for information on registration and compulsory licensing fees.
Provides request forms for information on music copyrights and their fair use, for inquiries on out-of-print copyrighted music, and for permission to arrange music. Be sure to see also their Sales Agency List on this same site for imprint and parent company direct contact information.
Sponsored by the Legislation Committee of the Music Library Association.
Performing rights licensing organization for over 600 composers, chiefly American; parent company of HFA; good source of general licensing-related information.
This succinct site clarifies, in table form, duration of copyright for a work depending on when it was created, published, registered and renewed; the definitions pertain to U.S. copyright law since its inception. Created in 1995, and subsequently updated, by Laura Gassaway.