Marching Music

Copyright, Video and Ensembles
March 19, 2007, 8:19 pm
Filed under: assignments


Are ensembles allowed to film themselves and freely distribute the video to those within the ensemble either “for cost” or at “no cost”?

That is a really good question!  Before researching this topic, it was my understanding that recording yourself or your group as you performed someone else’s work was perfectly legal as long as  (                         you made no profit from the performance. 

According to the MENC site’s “copyright FAQ” section,
A single copy of a videotaped performance of your ensemble can be made to keep on file for reference or review. If you want to make multiple copies and distribute them, either with or without charge, you will need permission of the copyright owners for each piece of music performed on the videotape. You will also need permission from parents to have their children videotaped.

That seems a little bit extreme to me.  I was video taped in performances/concerts as a child countless times without my parents permission.  I suppose that this particular addition to the response is to cover that 1 in a million chance that a parent would be upset about such a silly thing.  My response: if you don’t want your kid to be seen performing, then don’t allow him/her to be in a performance group in the first place.

I’ve gotten off of the real subject.  Sorry.

In short, no, you cannot film a concert of someone else’s music and distribute it without permission from the publisher. 

Is it ethical?  I say yes.  Is it legal?  No.  That’s a topic for another post altogether.

some helpful links:


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