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iPad/tablet cases & holders for choral musicians

Here's a list I assembled and shared with my choir; I thought it might be of interest on this forum as well...
 
iPad/Tablet Cases & Holders for Choral Singers
Replies (8): Threaded | Chronological
on May 11, 2012 8:40am
Katahryn,
How do you address the copyright question regarding loading choral music to an iPad? Do you request permission for each piece and buy and scan one copy, buy multiple copies of each piece? Then, how is each piece uploaded to the iPad - scan each piece then email, scan and upload from a central computer to each iPad? I'm just curious about these things since it's a relatively new tech idea for choirs, and orchestras for that matter. Anyone else have comments?
Wayne Miller
Cypress, TX
on May 11, 2012 2:19pm
Wayne, good question.  We draw heavily on public domain works from CPDL, so that is one way around the copyright issue.  However, I do hope music publishers move quickly to adopt convenient technologies and revenue models for distributing copyrighted sheet music digitally, as has happened with MP3s and books.  As for getting the music to singers, most of the tablet users in the choir are using forScore for iPad, which can import PDF scores from any website, a public Dropbox folder, email attachments, or Bluetooth directly from another user's iPad.  The first two methods are the ones I've encountered most frequently for distributing music to a large group.
on May 11, 2012 2:51pm
Wayne:  I can't answer your question because I've never done the iPad thing, but it's a great question.
 
Both copyright law and the Fair Use Guidelines forbid copying for performance, but of course when they were written that only referred to photocopying on paper.  It makes it illegal both to photocopy to retain the originals as pristine archival copies, and to perform in public from photocopies.
 
So IF digital copies are considered copies, it would be illegal to use them, except of course that anything can be done with permission from the copyright owners.  To be safe, one would have to purchase as many legal paper copies as there will be digital copies.  Otherwise you are, in fact, copying to avoid purchase and you are infringing.  Unless, of course, you purchase either paper or digital originals WITH permission to make either a set number of copies OR as many copies as necessary, which is becoming the case with many self-published composers or arrangers.
 
And of course both MENC and ACDA forbid the use of photocopies in competitions and festivals which they sponsor (even when the photocopies are in fact legally made, in all too many cases), so it would seem that they should also forbid the use of digital copies.  And it WILL become a question that has to be addressed.  Has any state done so yet?
 
On the other hand, the way the law is written there is NO requirement that one legal copy per singer must be purchased, or even that legal copies be purchased at all (although some of those same MENC and ACDA rules seem not to recognize this).  They simply forbid the use of ILLEGAL copies.
 
"Is a puzzlement."
All the best,
John
on May 11, 2012 11:56pm
Hi - I am a bit surprised to see some of the responses here. There is actually a composer's showcase on this very site that encourages people to download and use PDF/photocopies [for a fee] of living composers work. My own music [www.michaelmcglynn.com] has been available in this format since 2000... this isn't something that is going to be addressed - it has been addressed. Traditional publishers who don't address this will probably cease to do business in a few years.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on May 14, 2012 4:09pm
Great topic!  I'd like to echo Michael McGlynn that many composers are directly and eagerly meeting the demand for digital scores, through PDF sales on ChoralNet as well as on our own websites.  It's a very exciting time to be composing music because of this -- composers can now reach our customers quickly and efficiently through digital transmission.
 
That said, it's critical that our community understands the laws governing the digital transmission of copyrighted sheet music. 
 
We've been taught not to photocopy sheet music, obviously, because it's an infringement of copyright-holder's "right to reproduce the work."  That's right!  But that's only the first part.  What many people don't understand is that the copyright notice on sheet music automatically protects four other rights (well, five others, actually, but here are the four you need). 

2) the right to perform the music publicly (...which is why you need ASCAP & BMI licenses)
3) the right to distribute the music (...which is why you need mechanical & synch licenses for recordings)
4) the right to create arrangements of the music (...which you can do with permission from the copyright holder)
5) the right to display the work publicly (...what?)
 
Where did number 5 come from?  Actually, the writers of the US Copyright Act of 1976 were ahead of their time in establishing the rights for copyright holders in both known and unknown media.  They were thinking about it as early as the 1960s!  As the Register of Copyrights explained in his Supplementary Report from 1965:
In our earlier drafting efforts we had assumed that . . . the only classes of works that needed the exhibition right were those created to be looked at (“pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works”), as distinguished from works intended to be read or performed. We have now come to realize, however, that in the future, textual or notated works (books, articles, the text of the dialogue and stage directions of a play or pantomime, the notated score of a musical or choreographic composition, etc.) may well be given wide public dissemination by exhibition on mass communications devices.
And as far as 'publicly' is concerned, the term also includes digital transmission.  So to display a work "publicly" means:
    (1) to display it at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered; or
    (2) to transmit or otherwise communicate a display of the work to a place specified by clause (1) or to the public, by means of any device or process, whether the members of the public capable of receiving the display receive it in the same place or in separate places and at the same time or at different times.

I don't have specific examples of this "right to display" being used for -- say -- choir folders with iPads inside, but I am putting all my energy into getting my sheet music into digital formats so that I'm ready when it is.

So the question of whether digital copies are considered 'copies' is actually moot.  Publicly displaying a copyrighted work digitally is currently protected under US Copyright law. So scanning copyrighted sheet music and transmitting it (through email, Dropbox, Bluetooth, or anything else) requires permission from the copyright holder.  (Public domain works are of course exempt.)

And on a quick personal note, if I may, copyright infringement is, unfortunately, a very real part of my life as I try to support myself as a composer, and the only way I am making it work as a career is by relying on a variety of (mostly small) income streams -- which are generated through licensing, royalties, sales, and other sources -- but all a direct result of the strength of the US copyright law. 
 
So while the right to reproduce a copyrighted work is the oldest and best-known right that a copyright-owner holds, let's not forget the many others.  The right to public display is -- I believe -- the most important battle copyright holders will be fighting for -- and educating people about -- in this century. 
 
Abbie
 
Applauded by an audience of 3
on May 21, 2012 12:49pm
Thank you Abbie. Its like reading a post of my own...
on May 22, 2012 5:46am
That was a lot of information. The act of transmitting copyrighted music requires permission. Not that I am doing this, nor will I: What if someone were to download copyrighted music, go to rehearsal and download said music into each of their choir's electronic viewing devices via USB or thumb drive?  How is "transmit" defined?
 
Another question, since all of the comments and questions posted here are the property of the ACDA, is it illegal for me to cut Ms. Betinis's insightful post and copy it to my PC if I do not display it publicly?
 
 
on July 14, 2012 2:21pm
Hi all, Pinterest recently changed the link so the one above is broken.  Here's the correct link:
 
iPad/Tablet Cases & Holders for Choral Singers
 
Cheers,
Kathryn
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Technology for the Classical Singer blog: Tech4Singers.com
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