This outline is intended to be a guide to the major requirements of the Copyright Law as they apply to users of printed music, to inform them so that they may maintain proper standards of ethics, and to help protect themselves, their schools, colleges and organizations from incurring liability or subjecting themselves to the possibility of being sued. This outline does NOT presume to be a comprehensive summary of the Copyright Act of Canada. It does NOT attempt to deal with all the issues covered by the legislation, nor does it provide answers to many of the legal questions. The purpose of this outline is to inform all users of printed music of the basic provisions of this new statute.
What does Copyright Mean?
Under the Copyright Act of Canada, copyright owners have the exclusive right to print, publish, copy, and sell their protected works. The copyright owners of the books and music you purchase are indicated on those publications. The printed music you use reaches you as a result of the time and creative effort of the composer.
Whenever printed music is copied without permission, you are stealing from composers/arrangers, publishers and music retailers.
All sheet music purchased on this website include embedded copy license information including the buyer’s name, license number, purchase date, and authorized copy limit.
What You Must NOT Do…
The following are expressly prohibited:
- Copying to avoid purchase.
- Copying music for any kind of performance.
- Copying without including copyright notice.
- Copying to create anthologies or compilations.
- Removing or obscuring the Copy Limit License information.
- Reproducing material designed to be consumable such as workbooks, standardized tests and answer sheets.
- Charging students beyond the actual cost involved in making copies as permitted.
Copyright ultimately means that no one but the copyright owner (Len Ballantine) has the right to copy without permission.
What You CAN Do…
What you can do without having secured prior permission :
- Emergency copying to replace purchased copies which for any reason are not available for an imminent performance provided purchased replacement copies shall be substituted in due course.
- For academic purposes other than performance, multiple copies of excerpts of works may be made, provided that the excerpts do not comprise a part of the whole which would constitute a performable unit such as a section, movement or aria but in no case more than 10% of the whole work, The number of copies shall not exceed one copy per pupil.
- Printed copies which have been purchased may be edited OR simplified provided that the fundamental character of the work is not distorted or the lyrics, if any, altered or lyrics added if none exist.
- A single copy of recordings of performance may be made for evaluation or rehearsal purposes and may be retained by the educational institution, individual teacher, or music director.
- A single copy of a sound recording of copyrighted music may be made from sound recordings owned by an educational institution, an individual teacher or music director for the purpose of teaching and constructing aural exercises or examinations and may be retained by the educational institution or individual teacher. (This pertains only to the copyright of the music itself and not to any copyright which may exist in the sound recording.)
Penalties for Infringement
The remedies provided by the law to a copyright owner mean that anyone found making illegal copies, or otherwise infringing, could face:
- Payment of from $500 to $20,000 (statutory damages) and if the courts finds willfulness, up to $100,000; and
- If willful infringement for commercial advantage and private financial gain is proved, fines of up to $100,000 and/or two years’ imprisonment, or both.