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Community Band

Prince played trumpet in the junior high school band

Penn-Trafford Coimmunity Band
The Penn Trafford Community Band Is Always Seeking
Additional Members, of any Age and Talent Level
Are you interested in joining us?
Contact Ron Rometo

Southwest Pennsylvania Band Partners
This calendar lists concerts of community concert bands in southwestern Pennsylvania.  If you wish to have your group's concerts listed here, please contact

Volume 5, Issue 2
YouTube and Community Bands: Part 2 a look at copyright
By Sarah McElfresh
In our last issue (InConcert Winter 2009) we looked at the idea of posting clips of your community band on YouTube and what are some issues that are involved in that. One primary concern comes down to rights and copyright infringement. Here we will look at YouTube's policy on copy- right and examine the different type of rights involved with performing, recording, and distributing
As a note, all community bands should be paying performance rights to ASCAP and BMI for works performed. There are different ways to go about paying these fees, one of the more easy ways is to join the Association of Concert Bands as an organization with the BMI/ASCAP Blanket Performance Licensing Agreement. Visit for more information.
First, what is YouTube's copyright policy the bottom line is this “Posting copyright-infringing content can lead to the termination of your account, and possibly monetary damages if a copyright
owner decides to take legal action (this is serious—you can get sued!) … As a general matter, we at YouTube respect the rights of artists and creators, and hope you will work with us to keep our
community a creative, legal and positive experience for everyone, including artists and creators.”
Now let's define some terms:
Copyright - According the US Copyright Office “Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the
U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.”

[2] Public Performance or Performance Rights - According to ASCAP “A public performance is one that occurs "in a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered." A public performance also occurs when the performance is transmitted by means of any device or process (for example, via broadcast, telephone wire, or other means) to the public. In order to perform a copyrighted work publicly, the user must obtain performance rights from the copyright owner or his representative.”

[3] Blanket License - According to ASCAP "Blanket license" is a license which allows the music user to perform any or all of over 8.5 million songs in the ASCAP repertory as much or as little as
they like. Licensees pay an annual fee for the license.”

[3] Mechanical rights- According to ASCAP “A mechanical right is the right to record and distribute (without visual images) a song on a phonorecord for private use. Mechanical rights or a mechani- cal license must be obtained in order to lawfully make and distribute records, CD's and tapes.”

[3] Mechanical rights for most works can be obtained by the Harry Fox Agency (

Synchronization or "Synch" Rights - According to ASCAP “A synchronization or "synch" right involves the use of a recording of musical work in audio-visual form. For example as part of a mo-
tion picture, television program, commercial announcement, music video or other videotape. . . Synchronization rights are licensed by the music publisher to the producer of the movie or pro- gram.” [3]
Most of the music that a community band performs is copyrighted. There are some exceptions as some works common in the band repertoire are in the public domain. We should all be concerned with copyright and legally performing our music. Royalties are what allow the composers to con-
tinue creating new works for us to enjoy and to play. To perform the music in accordance with observing copyrights, you need

1) the performance rights (often obtained via a blanket license)
to publically perform the music,

2) the mechanical rights to record and distribute the music, and

3) the synchronization rights lets you put the music in a video form. So what does all this mean? If you want to produce a CD you need to obtain mechanical rights, this is usually done through the Harry Fox Agency. If you want to post a video or create a DVD of a concert, you need to obtain the Synchronization rights from the music publisher. Therefore it appears that without obtaining the synchronization rights, any video clip of the band performing copyrighted music posted to YouTube or anywhere else would be in violation of the copyright. This does not constitute legal advice, but is intended to raise the awareness of the issues and rights involved and it would be best to seek legal advice before moving forward with any video pro- ject. The above information is presented for informational purposes only.
References cited:
[1] YouTube Copyright Tips Accessed March 28, 2009
[2] US Copyright Office. Copyright in General,
Published July 12, 2006, Accessed March 28, 2009
[3] ASCAP Common Music Licensing Terms Accessed
March 28, 2009
Additional resources:
ASCAP Bill of Rights: Published March
2008, Accessed March 28, 2009
Association of Concert Bands, Accessed March 29, 2009
Harry Fox Agency - Accessed March 28, 2009
The Engine of Free Expression: Copyright on the Internet
Accessed March 28, 2009
New Media FAQ Common questions about this license: Ac-
cessed March 28, 2009
Music Publishers Association Accessed March 28, 2009
Signature Sound Music Clearance and Licensing Ac-
cessed March 29, 2009
US Copyright Office's publication “Circular 50” on Copyright Registration for Musical Compositions
( Published November 2008 Accessed March 28, 2009

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