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Copyright & Music: Copyright Basics

U.S. Copyright Law

Click on the following link to access the full text of the U.S. copyright law:

United States Copyright Law

"I am not a lawyer, and I don't play one on TV!"

As you can see, copyright law is very complex and can be confusing.

The boxes on the right contain information that can help you understand copyright and sort through all that legal-ese.

U.S. Copyright Office

Find out about U.S. copyright, law & policy, searching for copyright, and more at:

International Copyright

Guide to Music Copyright

The Music Library Association maintains an up-to-date website on music copyright for librarians; it is full of information that is helpful to musicians and students as well.

Copyright for Music

Sound Recordings and Copyright from Copyright.gov

Music Modernization Act

The Orrin G. Hatch—Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act addresses Congress’s determination that copyright law has not kept pace with changing consumer preferences and technological developments in the music marketplace. It is the most significant piece of copyright legislation in decades. 

Amendments to the Copyright Act as a Result of the Music Modernization Act

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, passed on October 12, 1998, makes major changes to U.S. copyright law to address digital rights management.

Books at the Fine Arts Library

More Links

The American Library Association's copyright site covers digital rights management, general copyright, fair use, international copyright, and much more!

Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC):

Association of Research Libraries (ARL):

National Association for Music Education (MENC):