• Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Topic: Public Domain & educational use question

  1. #1

    Public Domain & educational use question

    Hello everyone,

    I'm doing a review of a product for my online music magazine, and wanted to use an old jazz standard to demonstrate the product. However, the songs I'm interested in, "Autumn Leaves," "Laura," "Well you needn't," "Summer Time," are not yet in public domain. Could I still use the tunes under the "educational use" provision, as 1. I'm not selling the tune or my performance, and 2. the performance is used to educate someone on the product I'm reviewing. Perhaps this falls under an internet performance?(who is charged the Performance Royalty for internet performance? Me as the website owner?) Does the fact that this will be promoting a product thats available for sale mean anything? I know VSL has TONS of modern classical compositions on their website. Perhaps they fall under international copyright law?

    Anyway, as sample developers with demos on your websites, I thought you all might have the answer. Worse case, I'll just whip up a quick 12-bar blues.

  2. #2

    Re: Public Domain & educational use question

    You should contact the publishers and the owners of the masters (i.e, record companies) of those songs and ask for the appropriate licenses. Using music without permission can cause serious legal problems for you even when used in an educational setting. Generally the fees for education uses are lower.

  3. #3

    Re: Public Domain & educational use question

    I dont need the masters, as I'm not ABing them against the originals. I'm only doing a mockup of the tunes. Perhaps I didn't make that clear.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Re: Public Domain & educational use question

    >>2. the performance is used to educate someone on the product
    >>I'm reviewing.

    Isn't that called promotion?
    You are not teaching what Jazz is, right?

    In US,
    the education provision only applied the classroom setting that you actually meets your students, if I remember correctly.
    There is a update in terms of online-education, but I am not familiar with it.
    ASCAP and other PRO have web licensing agreement of their catalog, so why don't you give them a call.

    Kentaro Sato (Ken-P)

  5. #5

    Re: Public Domain & educational use question

    I think it also depends on what part you are going to use of the song. You mentioned you could just whip out a 12 bar blues, so I am assuming you intend to improv over the changes. AFAIK you can't copyright protect the chord changes - somebody correct me if I'm wrong. As long as you don't utilize the melody or copy somebody's solo I think it is fine. Look at all the songs based on "Rhythm changes" (copyright 1930) and all the Aebersold books using familiar changes without the melody and with funny song names.

  6. #6

    Re: Public Domain & educational use question

    Thank you all very much for the information. I think I would be much safer to just do my own 12-bar blues. Its funny though how big name libraries like VSL have TONS of modern, copyrighted material on their demo section. I know Stravinsky isn't PD yet.

    Do they get away with it because they are a foreign company, or because they haven't been told to stop yet? I also checked other companies. Garritan's sight didn't seem to have any non-pd works, but even kirk Hunter has melodies from Lord of the Rings.

    Very interesting indeed...

  7. #7

    Re: Public Domain & educational use question

    Dear Jon,

    I'm sure Vienna can answer for themselves, but I believe they have mentioned in the past that under Austrian copyright law, they can pay an annual "subscription" cost which is distributed in general to copyright holders, which is what they do. This is very different from UK (and US) law.

    Kind Regards,


  8. #8

    Re: Public Domain & educational use question

    Thanks for the info. This is all very interesting!!

  9. #9

    Re: Public Domain & educational use question

    Jon, your use sounds like it might be a public performance of the compositions. Public performances are usually licenced by ASCAP and BMI. But they don't license individual performances or performers. They license venues, radio stations, and web sites. The online magazine is the one that would need to have the licensing for their web site which is not all that expensive... its around $250 a year assuming they're not raking in big bucks.

    There was recently a similar situation on YouTube over a very popular guitar lesson video that demonstrated the fingering used to play a Stone's song. Apparently YouTube does rake in big advertising bucks and doesn't want to give up a nickel.


Go Back to forum


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts