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copyright question - A Community for Chamber Musicians

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Previous Entry copyright question Mar. 7th, 2007 @ 04:32 pm Next Entry
Help me out here. I have a string trio, and we would like to perform some classical music at a local Barnes & Noble. I used to work there, and the management thought it was a great idea. But when they checked with the higher-ups, they were told we couldn't, and it had something to do with the public performance of copyrighted music. Is there any merit to this? I took a music business class years ago and can't remember. If it's classical music by dead composers, is it public domain for performance? I feel like what they're telling us doesn't make sense. There were a few copyright lj communities out there, but they haven't been updated in a long time.
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Date:March 8th, 2007 03:50 am (UTC)
Dead composers? Not necessarily. Copyrights can continue to be in effect for many years after the death of the composer, during which time it is usually held by the composer's estate. For instance, the copyrights on most of the Leonard Bernstein catalog is still very much in effect.

Beyond that, I don't know a lot off the top of my head. You can read the actual laws here:


Date:March 8th, 2007 04:23 pm (UTC)
You should check up on copyright laws, but I have a thought about the situation. I have played at Starbuck's with my trio before and had no problem. I think you need to watch out for ASCAP, who will nail you if you are playing off of photocopied music. The only time photocopies are allowed by that association is for page turns etc. I don't know if that helps at all and I am not really knowlegeable about copyright laws.
Good luck!
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