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Copyright & Music: Obtaining Copyright Permission

U.S. Copyright Office Catalog

"The Copyright Office Catalog contains approximately 20 million records for works registered and documents recorded with the Copyright Office since 1978.

Included in one integrated database are registrations and preregistrations for books, music, films, sound recordings, maps, software, photographs, art, multimedia, periodicals, magazines, journals, newspapers, [...]"

     U.S. Copyright Office Catalog

     Find Records Prior to 1978

Orphan Works

Orphan works are those works in which the owner of a copyright cannot be established. Orphan works are still under copyright.

Testimony, reports, and legislation from the U.S. Copyright Office:

      U.S. Copyright : Orphan Works

Obtain Permission for a Public Performance

   There are three major performing rights organization in the U.S.: ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers), BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), and SESAC.  All license the public performances of their members' works. Each maintains a database which can be searched.

In addition, many music publishers' websites contain information about obtaining permission to perform and copy music in their catalogs. See the box below for more links.

Obtain Permission to Copy or Perform Printed Music

Subject Guide

Paula Hickner's picture
Paula Hickner
Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library
160 Patterson Dr.
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506

Directory of Music Publishers from MPA

Don't see the publisher you're looking for in the box on the left?

Check out the MPA (Music Publishers Association of the United States) directories:

Directory of Music Publishers

Directory of Music Imprints

Copyright Clearance Center

In addition to seeking permissions directly from publishers, you can go through the Copyright Clearance Center to obtain permissions.

      Copyright Clearance Center