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A Publisher’s YouTube Policy May 6, 2011

Posted by joinchoir in Uncategorized.
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Thank-you G.I.A. publishing! It is difficult to get a publisher to give their policy on uploads to YouTube. I posted a video of a choir that I did not direct on YouTube last December. My children sang in the choir and it was an ensemble from the school I work at. I received a possible copyright infringement notice from YouTube.

The notice says “Matched third party content.” and then gives a link that reads “View Copyright Info.” When you click on the link it takes you to a page that states: “Your video, Night Of Silence, Silent Night, may include content that is owned or administered by these entities:
Entity: Music Publishing Rights Collecting Society Content Type: Musical Composition.” I checked on what this means in several forums and it is a generic term used for agencies that administer copyrights. The page also tells you that you don’t need to do anything but that an Ad might be placed on your video. So I emailed the copyright owner, G.I.A. and they responded with three things to do. To avoid misinterpretation by me, here is exactly what they said:

“Technically, it is illegal to post copyrighted material on YouTube (or similar video uploading/sharing sites) without obtaining permission from the copyright holder or administrator. However, it is the current policy of GIA Publications, Inc. to grant gratis permission to post a YouTube video of a soloist’s or ensemble’s live performance of GIA titles, provided it is used for non-commercial purposes. We simply ask for a common courtesy: a citation either in the video or in the YouTube text field that includes the title of the piece, the name of the composer and/or author, and the copyright notice, along with the phrase “Used with permission.”
We ask that the video be removed after one year has passed since the original posting.
We also ask the additional courtesy of emailing the YouTube link to reprints@giamusic.com and include the following information for our records: title and duration of the work, name of the soloist or ensemble, and the date of the live performance. Please provide a list of all titles (both GIA’s and those of other publishers) included in the performance from which the clip is taken.
This policy is effective November 4, 2010, subject to change at any time.”

I am grateful for the courage of G.I.A. to come forward with their policy. This is just one publisher and they do not speak for anyone else. I requested this kind of info from Alfred, Carl Fisher, Augsburg Fortress Publishers, Hal Leonard Corporation, Shawnee Press and Concordia Publishing House. Augsburg responded in June 2010 that they were working on a policy and would get back to me. None of the others responded.

I am a bit surprised at the requirement to take the video down after a year but I suppose one could ask for permission to leave it up for another year. Although I don’t particularly like the additional work of sending a program from the concert the piece was performed in, I believe it is a fair exchange.

The ultimate solution as I see it is for publishers to partner with YouTube as I believe ASCAP, BMI and SESAC have done so that when someone posts a video of a performance, they can choose to put an advertisement on it. If we would all include the necessary information for other directors to find and purchase the same score we used, it would be a boon to the publishing business and a service to each other.

edit 5/19/2011 See Choristers Guild Policy

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Comments»

1. Donald Patriquin - October 6, 2011

As a composer, conductor, self-publisher as well as being published by commercial publishers, I can see no reason why any publisher would not WANT to have music by their composers up there on YouTube for the world choral community to hear, enjoy and purchase!

That being said, it makes sense for them to ask that the publishers and composers of music so performed be named. Much else amounts to needless bureaucracy, and is just a stumbling block for publisher, composer, and choir. With the advent of PDF transmission and self-publishing, ‘traditional’ music publishers are under a lot of pressure today, maybe even extinction. Anything to keep them going is a valuable service to the music community; music printed on cheap paper today and gone tomorrow is not always the answer. Also, publishers help set standards via their editorial policies, something that self-publishing tends not to do. They also advertise, have readings and so on. May they stay around, but may they take advantage of 21st. century media. And may they keep it simple- for everyone’s sake!


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