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#2576178 10/04/16 10:03 PM
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I was hoping someone could answer the follow in regards to US copyright law (if anyone out there knows):
1. Do you need to pay royalties to display a lead sheet (chords and melody) on a website?
2. Do you need to pay royalties to display just the chord progression of a particular song on a website?
3. Do you need to pay royalties to display fragments of a lead sheet on a website when it is being for educational purposes (i.e. as an example of a particular musical element that the lesson is about)?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.

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1) Probably
2) Probably not, but it depends how significant/original the chord progression is
3) Depends on how big of fragment you use, and how much money you make off it. If you are not making any money, and only show the minimal portions, then you are probably ok.

In most cases, if the copyright owner doesn't like what you are doing, they will file a DMCA request, and you will have to take down their portions from our website.

[i]I am not a lawyer but this is my understanding of the issue[/i]


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I am relatively new to this forum and to the idea of recording my own performance of sheet music in books which I've purchased or borrowed from the library.

For music where the composer has already passed away for more than 70 years, I don't see much issue of posting my own performance of the music online for others to see (e.g. on Youtube) or listen (e.g. on SoundCloud).

However, for music where the composer is either still alive or has passed away for not more than 50-70 years (depending on the country one resides in), I am concerned about potential copyright issues if I were to record my playing of the sheet music and make it publicly accessible through a link in the forum.

Can someone advise if my concern is valid please? Thank you.


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[quote=Kingfisher]However, for music where the composer is either still alive or has passed away for not more than 50-70 years (depending on the country one resides in), I am concerned about potential copyright issues if I were to record my playing of the sheet music and make it publicly accessible through a link in the forum.

Can someone advise if my concern is valid please? Thank you. [/quote]

Yes, it's a valid concern.


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You must always claim your copyright when you create a work, even if it is not published yet. The United States has signed the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, therefore the same copyright laws apply.

However, as a US citizen you will also need to register your work with the Library of Congress to be able to receive statutory damages when your copyright is infringed upon in the United States.


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