[aisle] copyright and sheet music question

Meyer, Gail GMeyer at tfd215.org
Fri Dec 11 13:20:37 CST 2020

Yes, we got a cease and desist from a publisher when our previous band director scanned and posted sheet music. Michelle’s advice below is correct.

Gail Meyer, Librarian
TF South High School, Lansing, IL
gmeyer at tfd215.org<mailto:gmeyer at tfd215.org>

From: AISLE <aisle-bounces at list.railslibraries.info> On Behalf Of Michelle Harris via AISLE
Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2020 1:26 PM
To: AISLE-Share: Association of Illinois School Library Educators discussion list <aisle at list.railslibraries.info>
Cc: Michelle Harris <harrism at husd4.org>
Subject: Re: [aisle] copyright and sheet music question

If the school only owns one (or a few) copies of the music and they are digitizing so that they don't need to buy more, that is definitely a copyright violation. If they own all the copies, but are just trying to make them available this way because of the pandemic, that would probably be legally allowed (but it would be best practice to get permission from the license holder...) In any case, the digital copies need to be shared in a way that is NOT freely accessible to anyone on the internet.  So they will need a password-protected site or Google Classroom...something like that. These are copyrighted works and should be treated just like a book, photo, or any other copyrighted work.

On Thu, Dec 10, 2020 at 12:58 PM Lala Lala via AISLE <aisle at list.railslibraries.info<mailto:aisle at list.railslibraries.info>> wrote:

A student of ours is doing a semester-long project where she is essentially digitizing music for the Music teacher and creating a website where students in Choir can access all the music in one place. Her question concerns copyrighting: does she have the right to put these music sheets online? They are, of course, copyrighted, can she just post them, showing they are copyrighted?

I believe she is planning on making the website available only to our school's students, but I am not 100% sure. I've asked her.

The student wrote this to me: " I have already asked [the chori teacher] if she knew the exact details about the licensing guidelines for the sheet music but to no avail. Would you know if [our school] had a licensing or copyright agreement with one of the following companies: JW Pepper, SheetMusicPlus, and Scribd?"

Thank you for any help!

Lori McGreal
Trinity High School librarian
lmcgreal at trinityhs.org<mailto:lmcgreal at trinityhs.org>

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Michelle Harris
District Librarian
Heyworth CUSD #4

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