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Recent developments (e.g. music file sharing and downloading) have given a high profile to copyright in the music arena. The duration of protection for rights is set out in Appendix 1.

3.6.1 Scope of material

There are many types of musical works ranging through orchestral pieces, opera, popular music, traditional music, scores etc. A musical work can include several copyrights and related rights: for example, a score may include copyright in the music (notation and symbols (f, p) and the libretto for opera or words (literary work) of an aria.

Much of the material will be fixed in the form of sound recordings or scores. The recordings may be of broadcasts, performances, commercial recordings etc while the scores may be original or newly published versions of older material.

3.6.2 Implementation

In music it is important to separate instruction from any other uses such as research or enhancing the experience of an audience (e.g. use as background music). General limitations set out in the CDPA 1988 apply to copying, distribution and performing musical works unless giving or receiving instruction. Similar restrictions apply to sound recordings of musical works made from broadcasts as apply to other broadcast recordings made under an ERA Licence, although the ERA acts on behalf of several musical collecting societies for teaching, learning and non-commercial educational purposes. Although the recordings may be studied for research purposes their reproduction in research outputs will require further permission from the rights holders.

When incorporating musical works from broadcasts or public performances in a multimedia repository restrictions on the use of the material equally apply. Communicating the work outside the establishment is an infringing act as is dealing. Special care needs to be exercised with works that are derived from others e.g. arrangements – the original work may be out of copyright but not the arrangement. While including excerpts in examination papers is permitted publishing a collection of examination papers which include short extracts on open access in a repository is unlikely to be permitted without permission from the rights holders.

There are a significant number of collecting societies which process different types of rights for musical works e.g.

  • Performing Rights Society for public performances even to provide ‘mood’

music for lectures or performances to audiences not being taught (PRS n.d.)

  • MCPS – recording of musical works

  • PPL – Phonographic Performances Ltd

Where performances included in broadcasts are used for giving and receiving instruction these collecting societies are represented by the ERA and included in its licence fee. The collecting societies do have tools to aid the identification of rights holders.

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