Using the sheet music or sound recording of a musical work in an educational facility
Type of use
Using and/or reproducing, in an educational facility, the sheet music or sound recording of a musical work. Think, for example of the distribution sheet music in a music class, the reproduction of a sound recording during curricular or extracurricular activities in a classroom or any other educational facility.
For the use of song lyrics, please refer to this page.
What To Do
- As a user who works in an educational facility, make sure that the sheet music or sound recording you wish to reproduce is totally covered by a provincial agreement and that said agreement covers all of your intended uses. In Quebec, you should contact SOCAN, COPIBEC and SOPROQ to validate this information.
- If such is the case, meaning if all the rights holders of a piece of music and/or sound recording are represented by a collective rights management organization that covers the intended uses, you may proceed with the reproduction and communication of that work. You must declare those uses to COPIBEC. If the work is not represented by COPIBEC, you will need to contact the rights holders of that piece of music and/or sound recording to obtain a reproduction licence or a simple permission.
Clarifications and cautionary statement
The current Copyright Act allows for the free use and reproduction of musical works in schools for educational purposes, except when a collective rights management organization can grant a licence for the proposed use. Quebec’s Ministry of Education enforces the agreements it has with COPIBEC, SOCAN and SOPROQ.
Do not take for granted that all musical works are represented by SOCAN, nor that all sound recordings are represented by SOPROQ, nor that all song lyrics reproduced in textbooks and sheet music are covered by COPIBEC. A number of musical works are not represented by that collective rights management organization.
Moreover, bear in mind that the SOCAN/SOPROQ/Ministry of Education agreement does not cover universities, CEGEPs and private schools.
Finally, the educational exception in the Copyright Act does not include manual reproductions available on the market.
The material on this web site is provided for informational purposes only.