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love_that_tune
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« on: May 15, 2017, 06:11:21 PM »

After a couple of years of teaching a little girl (started at 5) piano, I started teaching her how to find pitches with her voice.  She enjoyed singing along any of her lessons that had lyrics on the page.  She's enjoying it so much that I brought in a book of children's songs for her to choose one.  She picked "Tomorrow".  (I know). So far we've done just a few vocal exercises. She told her music teacher at school.  The teacher asked her to ask me for a copy of the music.  I'm a bit stunned at the unprofessional question.  Here I am with a family who specifically wanted me as a teacher (I've taught all three of their girls) because the parents had zero musical backgrounds.  The music isn't free, but here we have an innocent little girl asking for a copy.  So far I had only given her a copy of the lyrics.  I'm a bit unclear how to handle this delicately.  What would you do?
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iansinclair
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 08:38:39 PM »

Ouch.  You have just wandered into a mine field.  Things can go well... but.

The first thing I'd do is mention the request to the girl's parents -- and I would probably give them a copy of the music (copyright is not a problem, at least if this is US copyright, as this is for educational use) for the girl to take to her music teacher.
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Ian
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 09:28:45 PM »

What if you gave the music teacher the following information:
- name of book
- edition / publisher
- page the song is found on
The the music teacher can buy the book, and deduct it as a professional expense from next year's income tax statement.
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timothy42b
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2017, 12:15:39 PM »

Ouch.  You have just wandered into a mine field.  Things can go well... but.

The first thing I'd do is mention the request to the girl's parents -- and I would probably give them a copy of the music (copyright is not a problem, at least if this is US copyright, as this is for educational use) for the girl to take to her music teacher.

It is a mine field.  Neither a young child nor musically unsophisticated parents will have any clue about copyright.

And even for experienced people there are some gray areas and disagreements.  For example, I do not agree that this is educational use.  The OP is running a piano teaching business, so making a copy of music is for business purposes.  The music teacher is also getting paid to teach.

That being said, this is such a de minimus scenario that I probably would make one copy of one song (NOT the whole book) for the other music teacher, and attach a note commenting that it's copyrighted material and if she needs any more, here is where to purchase the book. 

Copying just the lyrics does not get you off the hook, IMO. 
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Tim
jpahmad
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2017, 01:24:58 PM »

Do what Keypeg suggested
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Bob
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2017, 05:40:45 PM »

I only glanced through, but just have the kid/parents buy the music.  I'm not quite following if you were loaning out your book or what at the beginning.  If they're playing/practicing the piece, they should own it (or at least use the original copy).


If you want to get technical for copyright, you already infringed by giving them the lyrics.  Lyrics are pretty much the same standards as the printed music from what I found out.  (Yep, everywhere the lyrics are printed it breaking copyright.)  There's still the lyricist who created the words.  You own a copy of those words.  You create a copy and gave it to someone else and prevented the sale of those words.  Same as a novel or poetry.  There is a trick though I found -- If the kid memorizes the lyrics, then no copies are made.  I never found anything against memorizing music or lyrics, although really it's just a copy in the mind.  During lessons or classroom work, it's possible to focus on memorization techniques or 'studying' the form of the piece in terms of lyrics.... That's a transformative use, so anything printed for that doesn't count as breaking copyright since it's a different form than the original, it's studying it/discussing it but not using the material as it was originally intended, etc.


Looking at the original post again....
Sounds like you went off into teaching voice lessons during the piano lesson.  I'd still just have them buy the music their working on.  If they want to bring it to another teacher, so what?  They own their own copy of the music then.  Sounds like you gave them the lyrics (broke copyright then), but it's one piece from an anthology or some collection you own.  In that case I'd say you don't loan out the book.  You need the book for other students.  Maybe it's just a 'demo' book for students to pick pieces from.  Pick the piece, then the student buys their own copy. 


Realistically, no one's going to care.  It's doubtful anyone's going to turn anyone in to the publisher or copyright holder.  It's good to mention the copyright angle and get the student/parents used to owning their own copy so it's not a shock in the future when it comes up.

It's possible the music is out of print (but not copyright) or actually out of copyright.  You might be stuck if it's POP (permanent out of print) or orphaned (still under copyright but no one knows who owns the copyright). 


Although if this is the piece, it's under copyright.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomorrow_(song_from_Annie)
""Tomorrow" is a song from the musical Annie, with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, published in 1977. The number was originally written as "The Way We Live Now" for the 1970 short film Replay, with both music and lyrics by Strouse."



You could demand your lyrics copy back.  Never admit that you gave that to the student.  Then lawyer up and have the lawyer send a letter to the seven year, her parents, and school music teacher.  Cover your butt and threaten to turn to them itno the publisher/copyright holder if proceed with their infringement practices. 


Looks like her career never went anywhere in music or movies.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083564/?ref_=nv_sr_1
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0703747/?ref_=tt_cl_t6



Potentially, you could interpret the request a "copy" of the detail, like keypeg says.  "Here's a copy of the information about the piece."  Not a copy of the actual music, just the info on that exact version/arrangement.

Potentially, there's the arranger of the music too, another creator of the derivative work.

If it's Annie, though, it wouldn't be that difficult to take a guess on the music.  Off the top of my head, I'd guess it's a Hal Leonard arrangement.  If the parents buy the music, great.  If the school teacher has their school buy it, great.


I would really guess the other music teacher is kind of being lazy.  "Give me a copy of the music" because they're going to do something else with it.  Have the kid sing it for something for a school performance.  Maybe they're just going to have a class sing through it.  What could really be bad form is if they're "stealing" your work with the kid and having that kid do a performance but imply that they (second teacher) worked with the kid for that performance.

I would just tell the parents/kid/other teacher that you can't give the book out but here's the info on the book.  Kind of avoid the "copy" part.  If they ask, tell them you can't just make a copy because of copyright law.  The other music teacher won't question that at all.  If they do, it's their problem. 

If you really play it well, it's a chance to make a professional connection with the other teacher.  If it's a public school teacher, they might be looking for an accompanist... In that case, if you did happen to break copyright law, you might have a happy teacher who would hire you for some accompanying in the future.  Haha.
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chopinlover01
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2017, 07:50:01 PM »

Sounds like everyone here needs a refresher on what is and is not Fair Use.

(J_menz can appear from the dark if he chooses to school me on the copyright law, but until then, it's important to know the basics.)

For educational purposes, you can use copyrighted material verbatim, without knowledge or consent of the owner of the intellectual property. This includes xeroxed copies, PDF scans, writing out the lyrics on scratch paper, etc. This is completely legal, provided that you are not re-selling it or otherwise making a profit off of it. The music teacher asking for a copy of the music, assuming that she is using it for educational purposes only, is legal under Fair Use (however unprofessional it may be). If the student in question then hosts a private recital and sings it there for a fee (even if it's a penny), that is a breach of copyright (perhaps why so many clubs have "suggested donations").
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timothy42b
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2017, 12:44:00 PM »


For educational purposes, you can use copyrighted material verbatim, without knowledge or consent of the owner of the intellectual property.
Yes.

Quote
This includes xeroxed copies, PDF scans, writing out the lyrics on scratch paper, etc. This is completely legal, provided that you are not re-selling it or otherwise making a profit off of it.

Yes.  Up to 10% of the material.  NOT all of it. 

Quote
The music teacher asking for a copy of the music, assuming that she is using it for educational purposes only, is legal under Fair Use (however unprofessional it may be).

Yes.  If she is using it to educate herself, no problem.  If she is using it to teach, and being paid to teach, big problem.  That is no longer educational use. 
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Tim
chopinlover01
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2017, 04:34:40 PM »


Yes.  Up to 10% of the material.  NOT all of it. 

Yes.  If she is using it to educate herself, no problem.  If she is using it to teach, and being paid to teach, big problem.  That is no longer educational use. 

The 10% rule is a guideline for brevity. Given that she's using one piece which is likely out of a songbook of Hal Leonard arrangements (according to the earlier poster), this would likely be fine as a "special work", as it is known under fair use (which is where the 10% rule comes into play).

Given that the student asked for the resource (as opposed to it being part of her standard curriculum), it hardly falls under that. In addition, you could also make the legal argument that it's okay for her to use copyrighted material in her teaching (albeit sparingly); the reason being that when you teach for money, you're effectively "selling" your knowledge of how to play the piano, not how to play a specific piece. The piece is a vehicle, rather than a sold product (which would be copyright infringement). However, given that OP is not a lawyer, that's probably not a safe point to make.

OP, you'll be fine teaching this girl the copyrighted material. If her music teacher wants it, she can also make a copy of it for educational purposes, provided that it is the one song and is used only in the current instructional year.
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timothy42b
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2017, 05:59:05 PM »


OP, you'll be fine teaching this girl the copyrighted material. If her music teacher wants it, she can also make a copy of it for educational purposes, provided that it is the one song and is used only in the current instructional year.

It might be fair use.  This is tricky though.  See the four rules below, from the NYU site.

Quote
four (4) Fair Use factors:


A. the purposes and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes and whether the use transforms the original work to serve a new use or purpose;
 B. the nature of the copyrighted work, including whether it is informational in nature, or more creative/artistic in nature;
 C. the amount and substantiality (both in length and in importance) of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
 D. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Piano teachers will always fail A and B and usually D, so they cannot photocopy.

The public school teacher is probably okay under A, C, and D.  I would think they fail B, so no fair use, but YMMV. 
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Tim
chopinlover01
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2017, 11:59:37 PM »

A) If you're using it to teach piano technique (and not repertoire as Hal Leonard is doing, or so you would argue), you would probably be fine.
B) Again, if you're using it to teach, you could make the argument that you're using it as an informational work. Again, legal grey areas, but this is why people have to look closely at Fair Use laws (they sometimes vary by state, as well, if you're stateside)
C) Yeah, this would go out the window.
D) But it's compensated by the fact that this is negligible at best (you might actually be helping Hal Leonard by encouraging the sale of their pieces if anything).
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Bob
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2017, 11:58:08 AM »

Sounds like everyone here needs a refresher on what is and is not Fair Use.

(J_menz can appear from the dark if he chooses to school me on the copyright law, but until then, it's important to know the basics.)

For educational purposes, you can use copyrighted material verbatim, without knowledge or consent of the owner of the intellectual property. This includes xeroxed copies, PDF scans, writing out the lyrics on scratch paper, etc. This is completely legal, provided that you are not re-selling it or otherwise making a profit off of it. The music teacher asking for a copy of the music, assuming that she is using it for educational purposes only, is legal under Fair Use (however unprofessional it may be). If the student in question then hosts a private recital and sings it there for a fee (even if it's a penny), that is a breach of copyright (perhaps why so many clubs have "suggested donations").


I don't think this is true for educational use at all.  No offense.  This is still using the work as it was intended to be use -- playing it, performing it, etc.  Educational use would be using it in a different way than performance -- criticizing it, analyzing it, but not needing to actually play/perform it (which would be tricky since you'd probably need to play through it and probably need to go through the whole thing to really study it).

Educational use would separate it from commercial use, selling it to make a profit.  If you're educating people, you might not have the goal of making money off the work.  But if you're using a copy, you've made a copy of the work which you don't the rights to do.  It's a copy still intended for what the original purpose was (practicing, performance, etc.).  It deprives the copyright holder of money from the purchase of their work.  That's a big one since money gets involved.  You've taken money away from someone so they'll get pissed and go after you for that.


Another test is scaling it up.  One student, ok... What about 100 students?  Or a thousand?  The same reasoning should apply.  It's going to be more obvious that you're taking money away from someone since all those students won't have to make the purchase then.  (What about getting reimbursed for your cost to make those copies?  That adds up, but then you're charging the student something for that copy, even if it's just the material cost.  There's your time too.  Time cost + material cost.  It's pretty close to selling the copy at that point.)


There is still fair use, regardless of educational use.  You can't copy the whole work though.  Fair use is using a piece of the work (and not the essential 'heart' of the work).


One easy argument from the copyright holder's side -- You, the teacher, and the typical piano student, ARE the intended audience/customer for their product.  If it's a broadway musical piano/vocal songbook, who else are they selling it to?  They're targeting students who are taking lessons in piano and voice and like musicals. That's who's going to buy their music.  Educational environment yes, but  it's still making a copy, depriving them of their targeted sales.  (You might be able to get an educational discount on a purchase, but there's always a chance you ARE the target audience and there is no ed discount or everyone gets an ed discount since education is their audience.)

Easy way to check though -- Ask the publisher/copyright holder.  Haha.  See what they say when you say you're a teacher so it's educational use and you want to make a copy of their stuff and give it to a student for free.  They'll threaten to sue I would think.  If it's 100% ok though, no one should have any fears about asking the publisher something like that.

You can even extend that argument out.... Why not all music then?  All teachers, all music.  No one would have to buy any music as long as they were taking lessons.  Every teacher would be copying any music for the students.  It's all educational, so it's all free, right?  Copy everything and give it to all the students.  Add in PDFs, this would be super easy to mass distribute all music you can get to your students.  It doesn't work that way though.
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Bob
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2017, 12:01:32 PM »

Yes.
 
Yes.  Up to 10% of the material.  NOT all of it. 

Yes.  If she is using it to educate herself, no problem.  If she is using it to teach, and being paid to teach, big problem.  That is no longer educational use. 


I think the 10% idea was someone (an organization)'s guideline.  But it's not the law.  The only way you know for sure is when someone sues and a judge decides.  There's always the argument that even that 10% of the work was the "heart of the work," the most critical part.  If you copy that, you're depriving someone of a sale because there's no point buying a real copy if you've got the essence of the work.  ex. Make a short version, 10% of the total work, of a blockbuster movie.  Give away the spoilers, show the best scenes.  Make copies of that 10%.  The copyright holder would be pissed since people could get enough of the movie experience to NOT go watch or buy the movie. 
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Bob
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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2017, 12:10:27 PM »

This line is also interesting -- " use is of a commercial nature."

Even if you're not a business (although you're selling piano lessons as a teacher in some way or getting paid to teach, so there is a business angle there still), if you took a product, copied it, and gave away the copies for free, you're damaging the actual businesses in that area by depriving them of sales.  Which means you're interacting with commerce, hurting the businesses in this case.  Which makes the 'giving away free copies' commercial to some extent.  It's like 'selling' something for free.  It's undercutting the market, still a business tactic, but legal (mostly, to some extent) if you own the copyrights on the item.  You can give it away or make some deal to sell copies for nothing if you want as the copyright holder.



The simplest ideas for this situation though...
Is it a copy?  Yes.
Is it using the work the same way it was intended?  Yes.
Would the copyright holder be ok with you making a copy?  No.  Hal Leonard wants the student to buy that book or the single sheet music.

Easy solution -- Just ask the publisher.  They're definitely give you a solid answer about whether it's legal or not to copy the music in any situation.  If you're sure it's legal, then you wouldn't any fears about asking them.  They would only confirm to you that it's legal.
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timothy42b
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2017, 12:49:47 PM »

This line is also interesting -- " use is of a commercial nature."

Even if you're not a business (although you're selling piano lessons as a teacher in some way or getting paid to teach, so there is a business angle there still),

Public schools are nonprofit.

Piano teaching, not so much.   Roll Eyes
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Tim
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« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2017, 07:13:14 PM »

this is not a ethic question. Is more a "legal question", and the legal nothing have to do with ethics (sadly).
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timothy42b
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« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2017, 08:03:45 PM »

this is not a ethic question. Is more a "legal question", and the legal nothing have to do with ethics (sadly).


I don't agree.

Using my and Bob's logic, let's assume this is not legal.

Are you going to be caught and punished?  No.  You're more likely to get hit by a meteorite.  The only thing that will prevent you from doing it is your own conscience, and your desire not to steal.

There are things that are illegal and unethical, like using copied parts because a student might lose them, but you did pay for the original copy.  And then there are things that are illegal but seem ethical, like enlarging music for a visually impaired student when there is no large print music available.

Those of us who use music might have a different view of some of these from those of us who write music and derive our income from the sales.   
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Tim
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« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2017, 09:01:07 PM »

Law is not about being caught or punished.  Law is whether a thing is the law, or it isn't.  If you drive through a red light at 2:00 a.m. when there is no traffic and nobody to see you, it may be logical to do so, may not harm anyone, and you may not be caught, but you have broken the law.  That is how law works.
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timothy42b
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« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2017, 12:18:33 PM »

The point I was responding to was bnm3's comment about ethics not being the same as legal. 

This comes up in another context quite frequently - that of sharing copyrighted recordings.  When I was young enough to be buying a lot of music, making a copy required putting vinyl on a turntable and transferring to UDXL2 at real time speed.  Now it's just a click of the mouse.  With that ease has come a tendency for younger members to see nothing unethical about what is really just out and out theft.  They probably know at some level this is not legal, but they see nothing unethical about it.
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Tim
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« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2017, 10:47:31 PM »

The point I was responding to was bnm3's comment about ethics not being the same as legal. 
Ah, now I understand.
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