Please read the following information carefully. Your original
questions as written asked, "what are the legalities of recording and
making duplicates of a school or church choir?? If you are doing so on
behalf of the entity, you can record and duplicate anyone.
However, recording the entity isn't the LEGAL ISSUE; it's WHAT you are
recording. To clarify, are you recording the original written works of
the ?School or Church choir? or are they singing somebody else?s
If they are going to record their own originals, make sure they
copyright their music/score accordingly. They can do so here.
The U.S Copyright Office summarizes a copyright as such. "Copyright, a
form of intellectual property law, protects original works of
authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works,
such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and
architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or
methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are
If they are singing someone else?s works (which they most likely are),
even if through a new arrangement, they must have PERFORMANCE RIGHTS
if they are going to perform the music live and make a profit. They
must have MECHANICAL RIGHTS if they intend to record and sell the
The US Copyright Office gives more facts regarding using another
person's copy written material here:
Under certain conditions, churches and schools are able to use copy
written works without permission based on specific guidelines. The
most basic are,
reproduction for educational purposes such as teaching, study and research.
The full report and details of this law can be found at
It clearly states that there are limitations on exclusive rights in
the Fair Use guidelines Section C. 107.
Guidelines for using broadcast material and off-air recordings can be
found on page 22 Section F.
If you do decide that you still want to record copy written material
performed by a school or choir and sell it for profit, here is what to
After you have chosen the songs that are to be performed, look at the
sheet music or CD/Tape. On it is listed what year it was copy written,
who published the work and very often the performance rights
organization that represents them.
The big three performance rights organizations are
I have found the people that work in the offices of these organization
to be very friendly and more importantly, extremely helpful. Do not
hesitate to call and ask questions.
If you cannot find who represents the artist whose work you want to
use, the US Copyright Office can provide the proper contact
information for you for a fee or if you feel more comfortable, either
another Google researcher or myself would be more than happy to help
you obtain the proper information you need.
The cost for use of the copy written work will vary depending on the
artist and song. And if you are duplicating (mechanical rights) there
is a charge per CD/Tape. It is usually in the .07 cent per copy
duplicated range. For a concert, (performance rights), there is a one
time per use fee. (In the $$ range).
You will also need to get written permission from the publisher. As
mentioned above, you will find the name of the publisher where you
find the copyright information on the sheet music or CD. There is
sometimes a charge for this. It will depend on the publisher.
Within these guidelines all musical parties should be able to create
in harmony. My best wishes to you.