Praise Music Publishing and CopyCare Philippines

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What does "Copyright" mean?

    It has been determined that it was in the public interest that the creative works of a person’s mind and spirit should belong, for a limited time, to the creator(s). The protection of these works is called “copyright”. The Philippine Intellectual Property Code grants to any copyright owner the exclusive rights to original material for the life of the author/ creator(s) plus fifty years. The copyright owner is the only one who has the right of reproducing the work. If any other party wants to reproduce the material in some manner, permission must be obtained from the copyright owner.

    Visible notice of copyright should appear on all copies of copyrighted music. Whether on the owner’s original works or on permitted copies, the notices should be visible and contain the word “copyright” or the symbol C (for printed materials) and P (for sound recordings), the year of first publication and the name of the copyright owner.

  2. What are the rights of copyright owners?
    • To reproduce the copyrighted work in printed copies or on records, tapes, video cassettes, or any duplicating process now known or which later comes into being.
    • To make arrangements and adaptations of the copyrighted work.
    • To distribute and/or sell printed or recorded copies of the work or to license others to do so.
    • To perform the copyrighted work.
    • To display the copyrighted work.

  3. Who owns the legal right to make copies?

    The original creators (authors and composers) and/or publishers, assigned agents, etc.

  4. Do other countries have copyright laws?

    Yes. Most of the world now recognizes the need to give incentive and protection to creative persons.

  5. What if I'm faced with a special situation?

    If you want to include copyrighted lyrics in a song sheet.... arrange a copyrighted song for four baritones and guitar....or make any special use of copyrighted music which the publisher cannot supply in regular published form, the magic word is ..... ASK. You may not receive permission, but when you use someone else’s property you must have the property owner’s consent.

  6. What if there's no time to write?

    Plan ahead. Think of copyrighted music as a piece of property, and you’ll be on the right track.

  7. What about photocopies or tapes that are now in our church?

    Immediately replace them with legal editions. Possession of any illegal copies puts you in the position of harboring stolen goods.

  8. Is it permissible to...
    • Make a photocopy of a copyrighted work for my accompanist in order to sing solo?
    • Print words only of a copyrighted work on a one-time basis for uses such as church bulletin or song sheets?
    • Print songbooks or song sheets containing copyrighted works and use them in churches, bible studies, or home prayer groups as long as they are not sold?
    • Make transparency or slide of a copyrighted music first and then ask permission?

    NO. Permission must be secured PRIOR to any such uses and/or duplication.

  9. What if I can't find the owner of a copyrighted song, can I go ahead and use it without permission?

    NO. Check the copyright notice on the work, and/or check with the publisher of the collection in which the work appears. Once you know the name of the copyright owner, contact them and ask permission. You may also write or call Praise Music Publishing/CopyCare Philippines for assistance.

  10. But what about items that are out of print?

    Most publishers are agreeable, under special circumstances, to allow reprinting of out-of-print items; but again permission must be secured from the copyright owner prior to any duplication.

  11. What is public domain?

    If a song is in the public domain (P.D.), the copyright protection for the song has expired and the song in its original form and arrangement is dedicated to the public for use as it sees fit with no permission being required from anyone. The absence of a copyright notice is one indication that a song may be public domain.

  12. What is fair use?

    Fair Use is not generally available to churches. Fair use is a doctrine developed by the courts which permits portions of copyrighted works to be legally reproduced for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, classroom teaching, and research. In no instance does this apply to a performance.

  13. Is it permissible to perform copyrighted religious works in church?

    Yes. You may perform copyrighted religious works FROM LEGAL EDITIONS in the course of services at places of worship or at religious assemblies. Legal editions do not result from unauthorized duplication of religious works: (i.e., to purchase one copy of religious sheet music, then make 30 copies for the choir without permission and then perform it in a worship service is not legal nor ethical.)

  14. Can I make an original recording of a copyrighted song?

    Yes, but you must secure a recording license from the copyright owner and pay royalty. This includes copies of recordings or tapes of church services, concerts, musicals or any program that include copyrighted music.

  15. Can I make a record or tape using a pre-recorded instrumental accompaniment track?

    Yes, provided you have proper permission; and two different permissions are necessary in this situation. The first is from the copyright owner of the selection to be recorded, and the second is from the producer/manufacturer of the accompaniment track. Fees are usually required for each permission.

  16. Is it permissible to make duplicates of the tape that accompanies a musical or printed work for "learning" or "rehearsal" purposes?

    It is against the law WITHOUT PERMISSION. As good an idea as this is, it is illegal if done without formal written permission from its owners. Write or call the publisher of the music. They will usually work with you concerning your request.

  17. If I buy a record is it permissible to make a copy for a friend?

    Duplication of copyrighted materials is against the law when the purpose avoids a legal purchase.

  18. What are the penalties for making unauthorized copies of copyrighted music?

    Embarrassment is the first. Additionally, the law provides for the owner of a copyright to recover damages for unauthorized use of copyrighted music. These damages include the profits of the infringer and statutory damages. In addition, prison terms are provided for willful and commercial infringement.


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