Copyright & Music Usage Guidelines
- Columbia College's "Fair Use Checklist"
- Baruch College's "Interactive Guide to Using Copyrighted Media in Your Courses"
- Duke University Library's "Can This Material Be Digitized?"
Copyright GuidelinesU.S. Copyright Code, Section 107, contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered “fair,” such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether a particular use is fair:
- the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
- the nature of the copyrighted work;
- amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
- the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites examples of activities that courts have regarded as fair use: “quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author's observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.”
Copyright protects the particular way an author has expressed himself; it does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in the work.
The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material. The Copyright Office cannot give this permission.
When it is impracticable to obtain permission, use of copyrighted material should be avoided unless the doctrine of “fair use” would clearly apply to the situation. The Copyright Office can neither determine if a certain use may be considered “fair” nor advise on possible copyright violations. If there is any doubt, it is advisable to consult an attorney.
Use of Recorded Music and Music LyricsBryan College contracts with ASCAP, BMI, and CCLI, which provide the college with the ability to choose, play, and perform (excluding dramatic-theatrical performances) from their respective titles and artists.
BMI, for example, contracts with over 375,000 songwriters, composers, and publishers, with more than 6.5 million works.
All music titles and lyrics used for chapel, performances, athletic events, college-endorsed gatherings (on-site), should be searched and cleared on one of the following websites. Only titles found in the respective databases should be used. All others are unacceptable.