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4. Music


Music is another big issue for schools. Students always want to use popular music in their presentations and movies. How much can they use? What are the rules? Many teachers are too busy with all the other stuff they have to do to look up all the relevant laws. Well, we recognize that. So we did that part for you. Here are the rules for music.

You can always use
  • ALL music you compose
  • ALL musical compositions in the public domain that you perform
  • ALL music from sources that permit educational use as stated in their conditions of use
  • Up to 10 percent of a copyrighted musical composition may be reproduced, performed, and displayed as part of a multimedia program produced by an educator or students.
  • A maximum of 30 seconds per musical composition may be used of a copyrighted work.
You can (I know you’re irritated with this wishy-washy guideline, too bad! It’s up to you. Check out our fair use guidelines and make up your own mind) use-
  • alter and change music when parodying a work
You can NEVER -
  • use an entire recording of a musical work in a multimedia presentation.
  • copy without permission rights
  • copy to create an anthology or compilation
  • make alterations to the musical work which change the basic melody or the fundamental character of the work.


Music with a Creative Commons license-
Podcasting - Podcasting Legal Guide
Podcasting Legal Guide © 2006 Colette Vogele of Vogele & Associates, Mia Garlick of Creative Commons and Berkman Center Clinical Program in Cyberlaw. This Guide was produced as part of the Non-Residential Fellowship Program of the Center for Internet & Society at Stanford Law School
GREAT RESOURCES - Copyright-Friendly and Copyleft Images and Sounds

Creating one product that uses music, pictures, and video really isn’t some magical different category. If you follow the rules for other categories of media when mixing them to create multimedia you’ll be fine.

Image credit - - Snow Rider Guy, CC license
Content Source HCPS Copyright

Bibliography Page for the Copyright Site