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General Chat Thread, Anyone know about music copyright please? in General; Some of our teachers would like to put together a CD of music performed by the children and sell it ...
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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Anyone know about music copyright please?

    Some of our teachers would like to put together a CD of music performed by the children and sell it to parents for fund-raising purposes...

    Some of the music has been composed by the children... no problem there. I am more anxious about the more recent stuff. Does anyone know the legalities of this please?

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    Legally Recording/Distributing Cover Songs seems to go into some detail about selling cover versions, it might help.

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    elsiegee40 (25th June 2009)

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Also have a look at the advice on TeacherNet

    TeacherNet, A to Z of School Leadership - Copyright

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    elsiegee40 (25th June 2009)

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    WRT the stuff composed by the students, doe the copyright belong to them or the school? Just a thought...

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickJones View Post
    WRT the stuff composed by the students, doe the copyright belong to them or the school? Just a thought...
    Good point. If they've composed and written it, its theirs. Has the school got permission from them for its sale?

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    Have a look here - I think there are some links to the original site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    Good point. If they've composed and written it, its theirs.
    Is it that simple, though? If they have composed it for the album which they know the school will be selling, does that mean the copyright in fact belongs to the school, much like how the school owns the rights to any resources produced by teachers or MSIs produced by IT Support.

    Equally, if it was written for an exam piece, does that make it the school's property since they paid the exam entry fee? And if so, does that mean our students (who pay the fees themselves) own the rights, or do they still belong to the school through which they did the exam?

    Can... worms... everywhere!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickJones View Post
    Is it that simple, though? If they have composed it for the album which they know the school will be selling, does that mean the copyright in fact belongs to the school, much like how the school owns the rights to any resources produced by teachers or MSIs produced by IT Support.

    Equally, if it was written for an exam piece, does that make it the school's property since they paid the exam entry fee? And if so, does that mean our students (who pay the fees themselves) own the rights, or do they still belong to the school through which they did the exam?

    Can... worms... everywhere!
    Teachers and support staff are employees of the school, therefore under contract.

    From Lawdit - Where a work is made by an employee in the course of his employment, the employer will be the first owner of copyright in the work, subject to any agreement to the contrary. The critical elements here are 'employee' and 'work made in the course of employment'
    Students are not under contract so to be safe I'd want to get a signed agreement from them relinquishing rights in favour of the school. The same in the case of exams, the student is not employed and the piece should be their own original work. In that case, the following applies:

    Also from Lawdit - The general rule is that the author of a copyright work (the person who creates it) is the first owner (section 11(1), CDPA). If two or more persons were involved in the creation of the work then there will be joint authorship of a copyright work and the contribution of each author is not distinct from that of the other (section 10, CDPA).
    If you are an employee then an exception to the above rule is that where the work has been created in the course of employment the employer is first owner of the copyright in the work, subject to any agreement to the contrary (section 11(2), CDPA).
    Therefore a person who commissions a third party to create a copyright work will not own the copyright in it unless it has been validly assigned to them. (emphasis mine)

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    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickJones View Post
    Is it that simple, though? If they have composed it for the album which they know the school will be selling, does that mean the copyright in fact belongs to the school, much like how the school owns the rights to any resources produced by teachers or MSIs produced by IT Support.

    Equally, if it was written for an exam piece, does that make it the school's property since they paid the exam entry fee? And if so, does that mean our students (who pay the fees themselves) own the rights, or do they still belong to the school through which they did the exam?

    Can... worms... everywhere!
    Yes - it is that simple - copyright resides with the author unless an explicit agreement to cede copyright exists.

    This is also true of employees - and your contract of employment must specifically cover copyright and who owns it - the school does not hold the rights to resources produced unless the contract mentions it - as a firm I used to work for found out to their cost!

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    This discussion is reflecting my worries... now can I make anyone listen?

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    Take a clue-stick along to the meeting and people'll listen.

    Alternatively point out what a publicity crisis it'd be if one of the kids decided to kick up a fuss about their music being given away free, without them having agreed to it. The school's taking on the role of publisher here it seems - so they're liable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffMonkey View Post
    Yes - it is that simple - copyright resides with the author unless an explicit agreement to cede copyright exists.

    This is also true of employees - and your contract of employment must specifically cover copyright and who owns it - the school does not hold the rights to resources produced unless the contract mentions it - as a firm I used to work for found out to their cost!
    Since that contradicts my understanding of UK copyright law (and seemingly the IPO [ Intellectual Property Office - Who owns copyright? ]), can you direct me to something to corroborate that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irazmus View Post
    Since that contradicts my understanding of UK copyright law (and seemingly the IPO [ Intellectual Property Office - Who owns copyright? ]), can you direct me to something to corroborate that?
    I believe that the important fact is your employer only owns anything you create in the course of your employment (unless your contract states otherwise) so if you create something not related to your job role, then they've no claim.

    This isn't a legal opinion at all, just my own interpretation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    I believe that the important fact is your employer only owns anything you create in the course of your employment (unless your contract states otherwise) so if you create something not related to your job role, then they've no claim.

    This isn't a legal opinion at all, just my own interpretation.
    That's my understanding as well, hence the fact I'd be very interested to read some legal guidance/case-law/whatever to the contrary.

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