What resources online are you using to locate out-of-print music?
  • I have located a few, but am aware that a place at www.themusiclibrary.com may be able to help with the economy affecting so many of us lately. Follow-up: Is anybody selling used music to help boost your music budget?
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    I have more than once simply called original pub cmpy, asked for composer's phone # and called them- always supposing they are still with us!! You'd be surprised how many are willing to let you make copies, simple inserting 'by permission of composer'.Of course, I'm talking anthems here, and presupposing you have a single copy.
    Also, I know for sure G.Schirmer will print to order, also Hinshaw, I think. Also Boosey, but you might have to send to UK for that one.

  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,432
    If I have one copy and the work is out of print, I copy more, adding thr words "This Music is out of print".
  • If a work is out of print you must contact the copyright holder in writing and get permission to reprint it otherwise you may find yourself paying fines.

    You have to then print, on the copies, the exact wording that they provide in their letter to you. If you do not do that you are in violation.

    I teach a short course on copyright and the fines for ONE copy that is done illegally is more than most people pay for a new car. And each piece of music that you copy illegally is another infraction.

    It's also a matter of morals....Francis, for example, writes much of his beautiful music for The Church, he tells me. For that reason, the Sweetwater Holiness Bible Chapel, not far from here, does not have the right to sing it, play it, or copy it. It is his and he determines who is allowed to sing, play it or copy it.

    ghmus7 and others, we know that you have seen others do it, but it's not permitted.

    So go and copy no more without permission.

    And...if you decide to record your choir you cannot record anything that is not yet in the public domain without filing for and getting a Mechanical License, which requires you to pay .07 for each song on each CD or whatever that you distribute....that mens even the ones you give to your aunt Sally.

    And if you are going to air the music from Mass on the radio....same thing. You must file for and get Mechanical License.

    AND...if the piece has never been recorded by anyone, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO RECORD IT without the copyright holder's permission. Once it has been recorded for the first time, then they must automatically grant you Mechanical License and accept your payment, but until then it's theirs and no on may do so.

    What this all boils down to is that if you program out of print music by Haas at Mass and then broadcast it and make CD's you are going to find yourself in a world of paperwork...paperwork that if you do not do constitutes an illegal act....and also consitutes sin....which means confessing.

    Confessing this sin would require explaining the copyright act to your confessor, and good luck at that.

    So what we are saying is that before you press COPY or RECORD say this to yourself:

    "Why am I playing, singing or copying musical pap with questionable theology that could bankrupt our church through fines from copyright and mechanical license infringements when I could be playing, singing or copying great music of The Church that is in the Public Domain at www.cpdl.org or available through Creative Commons?"

    I will let Jeffrey explain Creative Commons....it's great stuff. >•
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    Noel, Thanks for putting all that info in one place- too many directors are not aware of all this. Just b/c something is out of print does not mean you can copy it w/o permission. Can't emphasize this enough. It is very discouraging if you want to make a CD of your choir and find out you can never sell enough copies to make up the cost of copyright permission, even if it's for a charitable cause.

  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,899
    It's always a good idea to ask the publisher. Many are quite gracious about copying out of print music, but some are not. This is a case where it is better to err on the side of caution. I wanted to use some copyrighted Russian chant for confirmation introit last year, and couldn't buy it anywhere. The priest who wrote it had fallen asleep in the Lord. I e-mailed the information office of the Orthodox Church in America and asked for permission to copy and sing it. They e-mailed permission to use it in any religious service. Some copyright holders are not that generous. But ask, and keep the documentation giving you permission to copy.
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    This is a case where sins of Commission are MUCH more serious than sins of Omission

  • Compliance with copyright laws.

    If you are required to attend a course as part of your employment in a diocese...for example, a course on recognizing signs of child abuse or elder abuse...and you do not attend, it is the responsibility of the diocesan human resource officer to make sure that you comply and attend.

    So the ultimate responsibility for this and other issues lies with the diocesan human resource officer. If they do not make you aware of what you must do and also ascertain that you have done so, there is an issue here. You have failed to comply, but also the person responsible for compliance has also failed to act as they should in the performance of their job.

    With copyright, it would appear to be the same. ghmus, for example, has attempted to comply by printing on the music that it is out of print. Not having been instructed by the diocese as to the legality of copying...or of drawing a Botticelli Madonna in chalk on the sidewalk outside the church....there may be cause to protect you from prosecution.

    Every diocese should have a policy of instruction for diocesan musicians...and require the musicians to attend and then pass a test prior to employment.

    This is something that they are not going to want to undertake, so a local CMAA chapter could well offer such a course and offer it with an introduction to chant workshop....
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    I think companies such as GIA have done a pretty good job in setting out copyright requirements. It's a matter of reading the fine print!


    PS Happy fourth of July! :) We have had so much discussion about patriotic hymns that I woke up this morning trying to sing all the verses to America the Beautiful before I got out of bed. LOL
  • Actually, Donna, you CANNOT rely upon what is at the bottom of the page anymore. I see programs printed with copyright permissions shown that blatantly prove that the person in charge has totally failed to do anything except print what they think covers their reponsibility.

    For example, I have seen two major events programs recently that list OCP as having granted permissions while they no longer do so, rather they have their own licensing company now, and other music listed with the usual publishers copyright permission showing that now is no longer granted but handled by One License.

    Blatant failures of professional church musicians to do their job of checking each piece prior to printing. When questioned what you hear is, "Oh, we have a license for that." but if so, the license must be listed...and was not.

    A volunteer, trying to pull together music for Masses who has never been offered training is one thing, but professional, paid musicians, even at the diocesan level....

    Copying without permission is like taking your neighbor's car and driving it to work.
  • Again, it's extremely important to reconsider the use of music that requires the printing of copyright material in a leaflet and, therefore, the payment of a licensing fee. I would suggest that we simply should not use such material. I'll be blunt: there is no copyrighted material for congregational use--I'm setting aside the issue of strictly choral music--that cannot be replaced with drastically better material not under copyright or covered by Creative Commons or similar licenses. When we feel that we need to spend parish funds on including unworthy music and words in our liturgies, we have blinded ourselves to the fundamental ethical issues at work in the Church's prayer and stewardship. When we offer up such material, we are very definitely offering a stone rather than bread.

    On the question of copyright choral music: I ran my moderately accomplished parish choir for two years and spent only about $400 for new choral music. If you find yourself constantly wanting to use music that must be purchased, you are probably not aware of the large amount of worthy (and, usually, worthier) music available free from many sources. Sometimes this is a lack of knowledge. Many times it is a willful rejection of the Church's musical patrimony. The former is unfortunate. The latter is tragic.

    We do not need to train musicians to do correctly those things which it would be better that they not do at all.
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    I was actually thinking of that CCLI or whatever the initials are. Most seasonal pkgs of music I buy from GIA, OCP, Augsburg, Paraclete Press,Oxford, etc at one time or another have included detailed pages laying out what you can copy and what you can't. NPM's Pastoral Music Issues have had many articles about copyrights. If you are talking about recent large occasions in our Diocese :), you know where to ascribe the blame for that. I know we pay for a license, cost of which depends on size of Parish, in order to have song sheets passed out at a Mass for which I am not responsible.

  • Actually, I don't know where to ascribe the blame. This is an interesting diocese...if you had been called in to pinch-hit for the broken-winged leader, it would have been an all-Episcopal team, would have surprised Bishop Von Rosenberg, for I am supposing he was there.
  • Also, it is important to note that if you find a 1600's anthem in a book that is under current copyright you MAY NOT copy it. Typography is also considered by many to be copyright.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Daniel - Lift High the Cross? 99.99999% of the time your statement is correct, but I think there are a few exceptions.
  • Gavin,

    You mentioned recently the importance of ecumenical hymns. They have no place in the Catholic church.

    Lift High the Cross is such a hymn. Fun to sing. Doesn't offend any Christian body, far as I can tell. So it's an ecumenical hymn.

    Should we sing songs by Thomas Aquinas? Yes.

    Should we sing songs by Michael Jackson. No.

    Should we sing songs by Martin Luther.

    Was he Catholic when he wrote them? Were they to lead us in the Catholic Faith? Or were they to give us something sing that we can sing with those who do not believe?

    They will not respect us for it. We will still not let them receive communion if they sing them. They do nothing.

    The songs we sing must be of the faith and only of the faith...if we believe in the faith.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,100
    (I was going to pose a case for Noel, to clarify his criteria, but really the question of music by non-Catholic composers or lyricists is rather off-topic for this thread anyway, so I'll save the question for some other occasion.)
  • The advice from old-timers to wait until something has stood the test of time before buying into it would definitely rid the church of a ton of bad music...so observing the legal copyright term and only buying music that you MUST have would eliminate a lot of dreck.
  • Fortunately, the text of Lift High the Cross is not under copyright, so it can be freely printed.
    My parish knows the hymn well, so this is all that's needed.
    In order to print the music and text in unadulterated form, one would have to go back to the British copyright holders, not to the American publishers' versions.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    "Fortunately, the text of Lift High the Cross is not under copyright, so it can be freely printed."

    THAT I did not know! If I may state my own private opinion, I think the real tragedy of the "copyright era" hasn't been so much the music, as there's been some real gems (such as Crucifer). The real shame is the texts. Even paired with noble tunes you'll find the absurdities of Omar Westendorf and - published by a Catholic cathedral composer - "Thank you, God, for the Jews"! I question if there has been one good (not necessarily great, but better than decent) copyrighted hymn text written.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,100
    One of the eventual projects CMAA members should produce is a collection of public-domain hymn tunes and texts, with enough research done to confirm their open-source status.
  • Chonak, I am working on something similar right now...plan to make everything available as pdf's...will be able to index, collate and bind for those who want hymnals from the collection, hymnals with precisely and only the hymns you need, for each parish.

    There is no reason in this day to have to buy a throwaway pulp every year with 700+ musical selections...of which only 40 or so are useful.