This section is in no way meant to be definitive. Rather, it is a guideline to help you begin your pursuit for permissions to arrange or record.
1) What are the deadlines for copyright materials?
A: Copyright Reports (song lists) are due September 1st. Supporting permissions to arrange should be aquired before you start arranging your show, but are not due to Music for All until 30 days before you event. A list of materials due can be found here.
2) Where is the Copyright Report form I need to send in for BOA/MFA Events?
A: The Copyright Report form can be found here.
3) Where do I go to find out which company/person to approach about copyright licenses?
A: A good place to begin your search is the Music for All Database (Copyright holders database). This database includes many pieces that have been performed by bands at past BOA/MFA performances, and in most cases includes composer, performing group, Copyright holder and Print Rights holder. Alfred Publishing Co. and Hal Leonard Corporation also have comprehensive lists of represented publishers available on their Copyright Websites. Find more information about requesting permissions to arrange here.
4) How do I go about approaching companies for licenses?
5) When should I start seeking licenses?
A: You are required by law to obtain permission to arrange BEFORE you begin arranging. Typically compositions take at minimum 8 weeks to process.
6) Why might permissions for some compositions be denied?
A: Some reasons permission may be denied are:
- If the publisher or songwriter prefers not to have the music arranged in a format other than how it was originally written
- If the copyright to the song is in dispute.
- If contractual restrictions surrounding the original creation of the music prevent additional licensing.
7) Can I borrow or buy an arrangement from another organization/arranger or vice-versa?
A: No. This is what would be considered under copyright law and many licensing agreements as an "Unauthorized use." Many licensing agreements contain clauses that protect the publishers in these situations by retaining ownership, referring to them as a "Work for Hire." You must obtain permission for the creation of the arrangement in your possession. You may not "borrow" or "buy" it directly from another organization or arranger.
8) What does "Works for Hire" mean?
A: If a work is classified "Work for Hire" or "Work Made for Hire," then the employer (usually the Publishing company) is considered the owner of the work, not the employee (an arranger). Even if YOU, the band director, paid the fees to the arranger or YOU did the arrangement, the publishing company still retains ownership of the arrangement.
9) What does "Most Favored Nations" mean?
A: "Most Favored Nations" is a typical clause in licensing agreements that states if you (licensee) agree to pay "Publishing Company A" a higher rate than "Publishing Company B" for similar use on a project, then you must also pay "Publishing Company B" that higher rate. This is put in place to ensure the publishing companies get fair and competitive rates for the use of their compositions.
10) What is Public Domain?
A: A composition that is in the "Public Domain" is one that is considered "under the ownership of the public." In other words, anyone can use it for any purpose without having to obtain permission. However, an arrangement of a composition in the PD may be protected by copyright law. Be sure to double-check and make sure the arrangement you are using is in the PD. And remember: When in doubt, ask!
11) How do I know if a composition is in the Public Domain?
A: There are many factors in establishing whether or not a composition is in the Public Domain. Works published before 1923 are in the Public Domain. There are many other considerations for Public Domain pieces that were written/published after 1922. However, this only pertains to PUBLISHED WORKS, and does NOT include sound recordings. When in doubt, ask!
12) Why can't some compositions be video recorded?
A: Some rights holders will deny requests for permission to record for various reasons. It may be protecting just that particular composition, refusing it to be used in a particular recording, or they may request terms that Music for All is unable to accept without substantial additional monetary cost. The reasons are varied and Music for All must abide by the wishes of the copyright owner.
13) Why is the reimbursement fee different for different songs/publishers?
A: The minimum licensing rates vary from one publisher to the next. The reimbursement fee reflects the specific minimum royalty rate charged by each publisher.
14) Why is this all so complicated?
15) I can't find the question I am looking for. Who can I contact at Music for All to get the answers I need?