Warning on infringement of copyright - Wed 8 Jun 2011

We are all aware of the consequences of photocopying music rather than purchasing copies - the resultant fines can be crippling for a choir's finances.

Now comes a further warning, from the Music Publishers' Association (MPA), about the dangers of unauthorised arrangments of songs.

The query was concerning the liability to prosecution if a choir is given music arranged by their MD, from an original song which is still in copyright. The MD says he has permission from the copyright holder to do the arrangement, but is unable to produce documentary evidence to that effect.

The reply from MPA states that "both the performers and arranger would be liable to pay damages to the rights owner (publisher) if the arrangement was unlicensed (and there was nothing to prove otherwise) unless the choir had a clause in their contract with the director that explicitly made him fully liable for copyright infringement."

This warning comes via correspondence from our Music Officer, Eric Cooper.


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