Ep. 26: Andrea Pelloquin, Part 1: Copyright For Composers

Episode Description:

Joining me today for the first of a two-part series is music educator and copyright advocate Andrea Pelloquin. This week’s episode focuses on copyright from the perspective of the composer.

Featured On This Episode:
Pelloquin Headshot
Andrea Pelloquin

Andrea Pelloquin is a passionate professional who has worked in the music education and music products industry for her entire career – from a public school band director to an account manager for the world’s largest print music publisher to managing events for the world’s largest educational print music retailer.

Episode Transcript:

*Episode transcripts are automatically generated and have NOT been proofread.*

First a public school band director, she went on to work in print publishing doing jobs in sales, events, marketing, and business affairs, where she continued to be involved in education, and where she became well-known for her research and presentations about copyright law for music educators. She has degrees from Milliken University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Creighton University, and she is currently taking her passion for copyright to the next level by completing her law degree from the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law, specializing in copyright and trademark law. I’m so thrilled she’s joining me for a two-part series on this podcast.


Today’s episode will focus on copyright from the perspective of the composer and arranger. Next week we’ll change gears and talk about copyright in music education. And before we get going, since we are going to be discussing matters of law, I do need to make the disclaimer that neither of us are lawyers, and any opinions expressed on the podcast are the opinions of Andrea or myself, and do not represent any organization or school affiliation.


Nothing we say should be taken as legal advice, and we recommend that you always consult a licensed attorney for specific legal advice or questions relating to your individual circumstances. I also want to mention that Andrea shared a lot of resources with me that I’ve included in the show notes, so be sure to check those out. And with that out of the way, here is my conversation with Andrea Pellequin about copyright for composers.


Andrea Pellequin, welcome to the podcast. How are you doing? Thanks, Garrett. I’m great.


Happy to be here. Let’s talk copyright. I’m excited because you and I have had many conversations offline about this, and you’re such a knowledgeable person.


You have such insight into how the industry works. And I’ve spent my career in this sort of strange middle ground, where I have one foot in the world of music education and academia, and the other foot in the music industry working with recording artists, and neither side really understands the other. And I think this is a good thing, but those worlds are starting to come together more, commercial music is having more of a moment in schools, you see more commercial ensembles popping up everywhere, and you see a lot of traditional ensembles, symphony orchestras, and that kind of thing, seeing the benefit of popular music.


So these worlds are sort of colliding, and neither really understands the other, and copyright is one of those things that kind of pops in the middle as this sort of confusing, I don’t know, nebulous-seeming thing. And it’s because, I think, specifically sheet music copyright really only comes up in the educational world. I mean, there’s certain, obviously, it pops up all over the place.


But for the most part, the people using sheet music the most are going to be those in education. So you’re an expert in both of those things, in education and in copyright. So I’m excited to jump in and talk about this.


So let’s just start with the basics from the composer perspective. I’m a composer. I’ve written a song.


Of course, I own it. It’s mine. But how are those rights defined, and how is it split up? Read me my rights, if you will.


Absolutely. So yeah, copyright is often described as a bundle of sticks. You have a bundle of rights, and with copyright, there are several that you automatically get control of when you write a song, whether it’s registered or not, because just by putting your original work onto a tangible medium, so it needs to be fixed in a tangible medium, which, you know, paper, computer, whatever, you own the copyright on this song, which gives you the right to reproduce the copyright, so you can give people permission to make copies, to prepare derivative works, which are arrangements, which is a lot of what we’re talking about today, to distribute copies so you can sell it, you can pass it on to people however you’d like, you can give people the right to perform it, or you can perform it, obviously, and you can display it, that’s more for artistic works and things that have more of a visual aspect to them, but also you have, in the case of sound recordings, you have the right to perform your work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.


Now, that’s a whole other podcast. Sound recordings are a whole other animal, but yeah, right now, the performance right for sound recordings only works for digital recordings, like on Spotify and anything on those streamer services that you actually pay for. So those are your rights.


That’s it. You have the right to use them. All right.


Now, how does that change if you and I were to write a song together? It actually doesn’t change much at all, except you and I are joint authors. We basically share everything, and we have the rights to control, we both have the rights to control all those rights. So we share in the rights.


That’s it. And you register it as a joint work with two or more authors. That’s it.


Everything else is the same. And when you say register, I mean, what is it that we have to do to make that official? Does it just need to be anything in writing, or does it have to be with a certain office? How does that all work? Oh, yes. Great question.


And this can be a whole other session, too. Registration goes through the U.S. Copyright Office. It’s at copyright.gov. They have a really streamlined, computerized system now, and you basically just go on and follow the directions.


They have a ton of tutorials, and however you prefer to get your information, if you prefer to watch it on a video or read it on a piece of paper or PDF, they will walk you through it. You can register one piece at a time. You can register a multiple of pieces all at once.


Say you’ve got a bunch of pieces that you want to copyright, you can copyright a group of pieces. Depends on what you’re willing to do at that time. But, yeah, so you just go online, and it gets you benefits to register.


You, number one, create a public record of your piece so people can find you if they want to ask you about those rights and perhaps license something from you. It also allows you to protect your work in court, and we’re going to get into that. But you have to have a registration at least started to be able to make a claim in the court system.


Is that the primary purpose of the registration is being able to claim it in court? Well, that one and to have that public record, you know, because it gives people a way to find you. If it’s not, well, and in these days, the internet, you know, there’s a lot more ways to find you. But that’s the official register of your work.


So I would say it has a twofold purpose. I mean, but, yeah, that’s the required thing. Well, you get the bundle of sticks regardless is my point.


Correct. Yes, you do. And so the registration, that is sort of formalizing what you already have.


So you and I could still make our own agreement. And as long as we were on the same page with that agreement, the registration in and of itself wouldn’t be necessary for the copyright to exist. Correct.


It still exists. Yeah. It’s only if you want to protect it, which, you know, you should.


Well, because, you know, I mean, I hate to nag on this point, but it’s expensive. I mean, I’m looking at it right now. It’s like 45 bucks per composition.


So if you’re like me and you have, you know, a thousand songs in the catalog, I don’t know that I really want to spend that kind of money when people can already find me, as you say, on the Internet. Well, and that’s your choice. Totally your choice.


But you’re right. You don’t need to do it. Although you would not register an arrangement of somebody else’s copyright because it’s not your copyright.


Correct. So I guess I don’t have a thousand of my own compositions. But when you factor in people’s arrangements and that sort of thing.


So let’s say that I write a song or we write a song and we put it out there to the world. We register the copyright. Everything’s great.


We’re making a ton of money. What happens if we decide to change the piece? Like if we want to rewrite something or add a different verse or do a remix? I don’t know where the line is, but at what point does it become a new copyright versus just an update on the existing? Well, this is a common answer in the world of law. It depends.


It really depends. We love that. I know.


It depends on how many changes you’ve made. And it depends on, you know, if you just change a note here or there, it’s the same copyright. You can what you can do.


And I’ve seen this a lot. You can have you can put a different copyright year on it and say revised in that year. So that people would know that this is a revision of that original piece.


So you can put the original date and then revised this day. So that’s one option. If it’s a totally if it’s a big, big change and you want people to clearly understand that this is different and you want to protect it in a different, you know, you still want to keep that other one out there in the world.


But you want this one to be out there as well. Then I would get a separate copyright for it. But you’re not replacing the original if it’s just an addition.


But if it’s replacing it and you don’t want to talk about that other one anymore, I would just change the copyright label on it. But that’s all hypothetical, of course. Well, well, you know, because issue number one with registration is just that it’s expensive.


Issue number two is that I’m an overthinker and I’m constantly tinkering with my babies and changing them and update it. You know that nothing’s ever finished. Right.


And so that in and of itself is kind of a whole thing. All right. Now, help me help me understand something here.


The the copyright law or copyright code. What do you call it? What’s the actual term? The copyright law. There’s not really a ton of musical terms in there, is there? So and so and that was, I guess, the other part I was trying to get at with my question is some of these things are, you know, they’re not defined in musical terms.


And so as an artist, you don’t really know, like what constitutes a different work, for example, because copyright law is designed to be used by any kind of creative work. So, yeah, they had to write it intentionally vague. So that covered everything.


But yeah, and that’s where you find you’ll find guidelines written by other groups. You know, there are some guidelines for copyright use in music education. You know, there are specific different sets of guidelines that give advice on how to interpret those kind of things.


But I totally understand. You know, it’s hard because they are pretty vague for that reason. Well, and the same thing would be true, I suppose, of like authors, you know, if you if you’ve written a book and you copyright it and then you add an extra chapter, you know, is that a new book or is that an update? I mean, this is a second edition.


Right. This is why this is why it’s so confusing for people, because they’re not defined in terms that we are used to speaking at. You know, it’s it’s it’s phonographs and, you know, digital transmissions.


Right. Well, that’s my whole thing. I want to make this easier for people to understand, you know, and try to interpret the legal use for regular humans who don’t speak it well.


And OK, so let’s let’s dig into that a little bit, because I have found that not a lot of lawyers understand it either. And I don’t want to get you in trouble, but it does seem like unless you have specifically gone to law school to study copyright law, that you don’t really understand it. Is that would you agree with that? I would.


You know, honestly, there are so many different ways you can specialize in the law. I mean, at at school and I’m in law school right now, they teach you the basics, the basics of everything you can take. You know, once you get the foundational courses done, you can take electives in areas that you’re interested in.


Now, I am in a program that specializes in intellectual property, so I’m taking a bunch of classes in that kind of stuff. But the average student probably wouldn’t take a bunch of these. You know, I’ve heard some people have explained, you know, copyright.


Oh, that’s the fun elective or or that one’s really hard. Don’t take that. Or, you know, it really depends.


So, yeah, if you go to an attorney, you want to make sure that they have some experience in this, because if they don’t, you never know. I mean, they we all are licensed to practice law in whatever, you know, in all the areas. There’s nothing in our license that says we can’t.


And, you know, hopefully the license I will get. But but you want to make you want to make sure that they have actually done work in this area so that you get the right advice. And you’re right.


There’s a lot to it. There’s a lot of little tiny things that the average attorney, like the average criminal attorney would definitely not understand without doing a lot of research. And that’s what we’re trained to do.


We’re trained to research. But like, I would not want to defend a criminal client being a copyright lawyer. Oh, my gosh.


No, that to me would be an ethical bad thing. Right. So let’s say that, you know, somewhere out there listening to this is, you know, a young person that really wants to grow up and be a copyright lawyer.


How do they do it? Oh, goodness. Really? I don’t know of anyone who wants to grow up and be a copyright lawyer. I mean, you go to law school.


That’s it. You major in something in undergrad. And it really doesn’t matter what you major in because you just need a degree in undergrad.


Like I have a music education degree. And that was fine. And you end up you take the LSAT.


Although, you know, if this young person is that’s changing a lot, like who knows if the LSAT is even going to be used to date ourselves a lot right now. Like so anyway, you take that and then you apply to a bunch of schools and then you get into wherever you get in. But you do your research.


If you want to be a copyright lawyer, you want to go to a school that has a strong copyright program. And there are some schools that specialize in that over others. You know, just like any university there, they have strong areas in various things.


So you want to be you want to do your homework first. And it also depends on your situation. Like I am I am working full time while I’m in school and I’m in a pretty unique program that allows you to do that.


It’s a hybrid program where the law programs have not really kept up with online education. Like my program is pretty unique. There’s only a couple of them in the country that offer it this way.


And they had to get exceptions from the Bar Association to be able to offer this. So there’s a lot of night class. You can do night school, but that’s exhausting where you go and have a class four nights a week or something.


And after you work your day job weeks anyway, and then sheet music law for better. I don’t know if you call that, but it’s the same law. So no, but so you have copyright law, but then is is sheet music law sort of yet another specialty within that or is it really? I mean, it’s it all fits into the same law.


It’s just in my world. That’s the part that I that’s the part of copyright. Like that’s the genre that I work most with.


It’s like, are you a music attorney? Are you a do you do music copyright? Do you do art copyright? Do you do photography? You know, that kind of stuff. I mean, what kind of copyright law do you because there there are more specialized areas. So but the law is the same regardless.


Well, it’s the same rules just applied to specific mediums. And this one would be print music because that’s that’s my thing. All right.


And let’s get back to it. That was a bit of a tangent. But, you know, but I was just I thought, you know.


So how would a composer enforce those rights if they found out that somebody was using their music without permission? OK, well, the first thing first thing you would do is you just want to make you want to find out who it is. And if you can find their contact information, that’s good. What I would do, what I would do first, if if it was me in a hypothetical situation, I would get in touch with that person and just have a conversation and say, listen, I understand this is what you’re doing and I know you’re doing it.


And just see if you can work it out without getting all formal. If that doesn’t work there, you can send a cease and desist letter. You do not need to be registered with the copyright office to do that.


It’s just something you can do it. You can have an attorney create it for you. There’s templates everywhere for these things.


And that’s a more formalized way to put this person on notice that you see what they’re doing and it’s wrong. However, you know, and you can say this is my copyright. I have a right in this song.


I wrote it this year. And this is you know, this is the proof that I have that this is my copyright. If you had a registration, that would be the easiest way to prove that that’s yours.


However, you don’t need that to prove it at this stage. So that’s what I would do first. Cease and desist.


Try to work it out before you get to court. And that’s actually where most cases stop because they’ll just work it out. We’ll figure it out.


Come to an agreement. Either that person will stop using it or they’ll they’ll license it like they’re supposed to or, you know, you’ll come to an agreement. And I sell sheet music so I can’t afford to go to court.


You know what? And that brings me to my next thing. So if you decide you can’t work it out, you need to take it to the next level if you decide to do that. So there are now two different ways to go to court.


The first one is actually the Copyright Claims Board. And this is a new thing that just started in maybe just about a year old now. It’s called the CCB and it’s basically small claims.


And it was made for just this kind of situation. And you don’t need an attorney. And it’s a lot faster.


And the damages are limited at $30,000 for damages. Most are a lot smaller. They even have a smaller version where it only goes up to $5,000.


So it’s really good for people who don’t want to do their can’t afford the whole thing. But this one, I think it’s you pay $40 or $60. You pay half of it first.


And then if and it’s voluntary because it’s a constitutional thing. You have you can’t you have to give somebody the constitutional right is you have to give someone the right to a jury trial if you go to court. However, that’s why this one’s voluntary.


You don’t have to do it. The person you are the person that you are going to court against can opt out. And at that point, then you can still go the federal court way.


But if they decide to go this way and there is it’s it’s a process and it’s getting there working out the bugs. But it’s a lot more efficient than going to federal court, which could take years and cost a lot of money. So I encourage people to check it out.


That’s a whole other podcast to come. But CCB dot gov is where you want to go to check that out. And they have a ton of information.


So I encourage people to check that out right now. The main people that that are using it are photographers who are suing people for putting their images on websites that they didn’t license. But there are definitely some music music cases on there and you can see all the cases.


You can see all the documents. It’s really kind of fascinating for nerds like me. It’s a good rabbit hole to go down.


Sounds like. Yeah. Right.


Yeah. And then the other thing you can do then is if you’d prefer to get even more formal, if it’s a big enough infringement, you can go to federal court. It is not a state law situation.


Copyright is a federal offense. So you can go to federal court and that’s both the CCB and federal court. You need to have a registration.


So you at least need to have one an application put in. So you can ask for special handling to push that through. But you at least need to be in the system.


So you would need to before you want before you decide to go that way. Definitely get registered. You know, I hadn’t even heard about that.


Yeah, it’s brand new. And it was the case act that went through like during covid like that’s why. OK, that’s not it.


It has not been largely advertised. So, yeah, it’s it’s a really cool new thing to allow creators to have more power over their works and to allow them to be able to protect their works in a more affordable way. And it’s easier with no attorney.


You don’t need an attorney, but you can have one. And so that depends, too. And even that might be cheaper because they don’t have to do as much.


Right. So I highly encourage people to check it out. Now, this is something I know you’ve put a lot of thought into.


But as a composer, I find it sometimes exhausting that I, you know, not only have to write the music and market the music, but I also have to educate people on how to buy the music, you know, because copyright, as we’ve said, copyright is not something that’s frequently understood. And there’s lots of questions that come up. You know, why do I have to buy so many copies? And why can’t I just photocopy this, you know, and why can’t I just do whatever I want with this? And, you know, all that kind of stuff.


It’s a lot when you’re doing it all yourself. Do you have any advice on how composers can, you know, effectively or efficiently, you know, educate their audience about copyright? Well, and it’s like you mentioned before, it’s like the unspoken thing. Like, we don’t know enough about it because we don’t talk about it.


So I encourage composers to put a line on their music that, you know, and publishers do this. They’re like, this is copyright, copyright, you know, reproduction is unlawful, blah, blah, blah. But self-published composers, you have more flexibility.


You can actually put more information on your piece, like the front inner, the inside front cover or or whatnot. You can put a more of an explanation about why it’s important to support your support, your business, support creators. I encourage people to put a note on your music that no recording, no posting of the performance without permission.


It’s not just about copying. It’s about the other bundle of six. You know, no arranging, no listing these things.


And I’ve seen this done. You know, no reproducing, no performing, no arranging, no sound recordings, you know, none of this stuff without specific permission of the composer. And then put your information on there.


Put your information on the music so people can find you. That’s the biggest reason I think why people don’t do it is they just don’t know how to find you and they don’t want to go the extra step of trying to find you. They’re like, well, I can’t find him or I sent him an email.


He didn’t respond enough. It’s not good enough. So make it easy for them to find you and to understand why they’re finding you, because it’s illegal for them to do one of these things.


And most people think copyright is literally just the copying part. They don’t even know about all these other sticks in the bundle. So that that’s what I would do.


I would if it was my music and I had the flexibility of how it looked, I would include a little blurb about that. I don’t know. Is that even realistic? Yeah.


Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you can all you have to do is, you know, insert a text box.


I mean, you can put it anywhere you want with notation software or you could, you know, use, you know, you can make a Word document and insert that as a title page, you know, or as a as a back page or something. I mean, that’s that’s totally that’s totally, totally that is not a word that’s totally feasible. You could even put something on your website about why it’s important.


You know, this is my this is my life. This is how I make money. And, you know, please respect my business and do the right thing.


And it’s by the way, it’s the law. Well, and I also have a suspicion that because sheet music is generally dealing with small dollar amounts, that it’s just easier for people to blow it off. It’s just two bucks, you know, or whatever.


But it adds up. It adds up. It really does.


OK, let’s shift gears and talk about arrangements. OK, so let’s let’s go all, you know, middle school book report. What’s the definition of an arrangement? Let’s start there.


Sure. A drink, a derangement. I’m leaving that in.


That was good. Oh, good. I write derangements.


It’ll make sense why I was going to say that. So an arrangement falls under that bundle of six four of a derivative work. So it’s basically a work that’s based on someone else’s creative work in a broad, you know, so that’s like broad covering all create creative works.


So in music or an arrangement would be something that you do that you write based on someone else’s original composition. So, for instance, you make an arrangement of a pop song, you make your own, you can make it an arrangement. So say it was something you heard on the radio and you wrote it for a choir or it was something that or you wrote it for a band.


Then it was originally a song on the radio, that kind of thing. Or, you know, you tell us what’s an arrangement. This is your this is your business.


How do you define an arrangement? We’ll put you on the hot seat. Well, what I have been told is that any time you are putting music down on paper that you did not write is that it is it is an arrangement. I mean, you’re technically writing it, but you’re getting inspiration from someone else’s thing that they wrote.


So, yeah, you’re both writing it, but you didn’t create while you’re you’re creating your take on it. Well, I guess my question is, where is the line between a transcription and an arrangement? Because if I am listening to you, you know, if I’m listening to your piece of music carefully and writing down note for note exactly what you did to me, that doesn’t feel like I’m arranging it. But legally, it would be considered an arrangement, correct? You’re not arranging it, you’re copying it then.


I mean, either way. You still need permission regardless of what you call it. It’s still one of the six.


Yes. Yes. So it’s basically the line is between are you making an exact copy or are you making an arrangement? And yeah, like doing when people make a translation or they make.


Yeah, they write it down and they notate it when it wasn’t notated. You know, that is putting it in a different form than it originally was. And so that is an arrangement.


Nonetheless, it’s still derivative. And when in doubt, ask, you know, and if the if the writer is like, oh, no, that’s fine. Go ahead.


Great. Then you have their permission. It’s always better to ask.


So are there any situations where you would not need permission to do this? Oh, yeah. Public domain. If something is in the public domain, which means it is either fallen out of copyright.


It’s it’s old, essentially, or the author has basically gifted it to the world and said, I, my piece is in the public domain. Go forth and do what you want with it. People do that.


They also can put things under different types of licenses, like Creative Commons, where it just kind of has a blanket license for people to do what they want as long as they X, Y and Z, you know, do this. You know, put their put their information on it and, you know, follow these particular guidelines. And you don’t have to ask me.


Just do it. But public domain is the biggest one where you find a piece that’s that’s old, like the original work, like an original Mozart or an original source. So the important part is to not make an arrangement of an arrangement, when especially when we have one of these classic pieces, because you don’t want to arrange in addition that someone has created because that’s their arrangement of the person of the original piece.


So you want to find the original. If that original was created and the year right now is 1927, 1927 or before, you’re in the clear. Explain the Creative Commons thing, if you can, because I see that pop up from time to time and I don’t really know what it is.


So it’s at creativecommons.org. It’s a way to make your music available, but still have some sense of control over it. So this is just somebody created this way of doing it. Yeah, like here, like there’s different licensing options.


There’s six different license types and they’re from the least permissive to the most permissive. Like the least permissive is it basically credit must be given to the creator. It enables users to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon the material in any medium or format.


So long as attribution is given to the creator and the license allows for commercial use. Like, OK, go ahead and use it just as long as you put the writer’s name on it. Cool.


Then there is like the most restrictive one. This license enables re-users to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only for non-commercial purposes, as long as attribution is given to the creator. So that one’s the most restrictive.


So it’s basically you have to give credit. You can only use it in non-commercial uses. So you can’t sell it or you have to give it away for free and you can’t change it in any way.


So you can’t make an arrangement of it, but it gives you permission to share it, which is kind of interesting. So you decide the level of comfort that you have with this. And so I encourage people to check it out.


There’s a whole thing on here about how to choose a license and even if you don’t use your work, it’s really cool. Well, and even if you don’t choose to use that, it still might give you some ideas as to, you know, what you feel comfortable with your music and how you want your music to be used. Yeah.


I mean, if you don’t mind being more flexible with what you allow people to do, this is a nice way to still protect it in certain instances, but yet not have super control over everything. So let’s get in the weeds. All right.


If you, Andrea, write a song and you give me permission to create an arrangement. Who owns that arrangement? Well, that depends. Here we are again.


Arrangers. So composers have the right to set the terms for derivative works. So the owner of the copyright can figure out how they want to license that to you, whether it’s a fixed term or whether it’s a work for hire or whether it’s I’m going to just loan you my copyright and you can do whatever you want with it.


It really depends on each individual situation. So and that’s where you need to talk to the copyright owner and kind of tell them what you want. Now, larger publishers have kind of a blanket way that they do this just to keep things simple.


I know several of the large publishers will do a fixed term because several reasons, like, for instance, like a three year term, because number one, copyrights change a lot. Like the people who own copyrights, it’s constantly in a state of flux. So after three years, that publisher may not own that copyright any longer and not have the ability to license it.


So that’s one reason they may do a fixed term. Another reason could be they want control over that copyright and they want to know where it’s being performed, what it’s being used for. It really depends because a lot of these larger publishers are administrators of copyright and they have a responsibility to the copyright owner to administer it in a responsible way.


So they want to make sure that they know what’s going on with it and that they’ve approved every use of it. So that’s why you might see that. And you might see a work for hire situation where a copyright owner might say, OK, well, I’m going to license this to you, but it’s a work for hire because we still own the copyright and we are the only ones that can administer this copyright.


So you are writing a piece that’s fine, but we own it because that copyright is ours. It’s like leasing a car where you’re leasing that copyright for use. You don’t own the car.


You’re able to use the car for a fixed amount of time and then you have to give it back. You can’t sell that car to anyone else while you’re leasing it. You can’t do any of these things because the car company still owns that car.


But you can make whatever changes you want to the truck or the car, but you have to give it back eventually. That is the best explanation I’ve heard of the concept. I thought it was a good one.


You know, you said it yourself. Copyright law is kind of wonky and it doesn’t fit every single situation. So it’s probably the closest thing.


The copyright owner has to control what happens to that piece. And some, some only have certain sticks to handle. Like some of the print publishers only have the print rights.


So they only have the stick that allows them to authorize arrangements and copies and things that have to do with the print. They don’t have the right to do mechanicals because that’s somebody else. They don’t have the stick that allows them to do sync rights.


They don’t have, you know, it depends on what sticks they have. And this is why everything gets so messy because you have. It is totally messy.


Because you have, you know, songs written by six different people that have six different publishers. And so there’s 12 different people that each have a stick and then they, they split up the sticks, you know? So the sticks for print goes here and the sticks for, you know, sound recordings go here and the sticks for video go here. And the sticks are everywhere and it’s a mess.


Totally agreed. Totally agreed. That’s why we, you know, people in our industry tend to specialize in just one stick.


One portion of sticks. Like I really enjoy the print music sticks. That being said, it does seem like when it comes to sheet music, there is always at least one other stick involved.


Because you’re not going to buy a piece of sheet music and never perform it or never record it or never do anything with it. You know, I mean, I guess that’s not true if you just are playing music at home because you love music. But I mean, for the most part, I feel like people are buying sheet music with the intent to play it somewhere or to make their own recording.


That’s the performance stick. And even if it’s only for their own personal enjoyment, like they still need to get permission to use the other sticks. And some, there are some exceptions to the use of sticks.


Well, what are those exceptions? Well, I really. Oh, it’s such a great question. I mean, there’s that’s.


Okay, so for educators, there is the exception for display in a classroom setting. So basically you can or performance or display. So it’s the same in a classroom setting.


So you can perform a piece in a classroom or you can perform for people in in that classroom. If it’s part of the lesson, you know, that one’s a little it’s a little more complicated. There is also an exemption for religious use in a service.


So you don’t have to have a performance license or any to use a piece of music in the part of our in a religious service in a house of worship. Kind of, you know, there’s a religious exemption. Then there’s the fair use.


There is, we can talk about fair use in a second. But there is also with that classroom exemption. There’s also what’s called the Teach Act, which is for distance learning.


Which is a set of laws that makes content that you share during a lesson online a little more accessible. And that came around in 2002. So copyrights catching up, but it’s still as much as it catches up.


We move farther ahead. We’re only 20 years behind now instead of 60. That’s good news.


And that one needs some major updating. But, um, but so there are some exemptions, but still when in doubt, you need to make sure that you’re covered. So schools, you know, the performance license, that’s easy.


Most institutions have that covered. Like they have a license with ASCAP or BMI or CSAC or any of the performing rights organizations, the PROs. So your building should have that covered or anywhere that you perform the theater, you know, wherever they should have that covered.


So your performance stick is covered. You shouldn’t have to deal with that. However, if you make videos, if you make recordings, those are different licenses.


You can’t just do it. You can make one archival copy to put in your library for evaluation purposes and just leave it there. You can’t do anything with it.


You can just put it there. But if you wanted to take your concert and do an evaluation with your students afterwards, I used to do that. So here, let’s watch the recording of our concert and see what we thought.


Yeah, that’s fine if it’s just that one and you put it away. But once you start sharing it with parents and once you start streaming it online, I mean, those are not covered in that license. I mean, you need to get separate licenses anytime you record something and you distribute it in any sort of way.


So good stuff. The whole licensing thing is yet another entire podcast. Maybe we need to start our own podcast, Andrea.


That would be super fun, actually. All right. Well, we’ve already kind of we’ve already kind of gone there, but let’s let’s shift to the teacher perspective.