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Copyright for Faculty & Staff: Educational Uses of Music

A focus on copyright issues which may concern TCC faculty and staff -- including fair use, the TEACH Act, public domain and other copyright exceptions and issues. Nothing in this guide is to be construed as legal advice.


The guidelines on this page are the minimum standards for educational fair use of copyrighted musical works (see U.S. Code  Title 17, Sec. 107).  


A copy of a copyrighted musical work must include the copyright notice which appears on the original musical work.


For academic purposes (other than performance), single or multiple copies of excepts of a copyrighted musical work may be copied. The excerpt cannot comprise a performable unit (e.g. section, movement or aria) and cannot exceed ten percent(10%)  of the entire copyrighted musical work. Copying is limited to no more than one copy of the excerpt(s) per Tulsa Community College (TCC) student.

 A single copy of a sound recording (i.e. tape, disc, or computer or digital file) of copyrighted music may be made from sound recordings owned by TCC or a TCC faculty member for aural academic exercises or examinations and may be retained by TCC or a TCC faculty member.  (Note: This exception pertains only to the copyright of the music itself and not to any copyright, which may exist in the sound recording.)

 A copyrighted musical work may not be copied to create, replace, or substitute for an anthology, compilation, or collective work.

 A copyrighted musical work that is intended to be a copyrighted workbook, exercise, standardized test, test booklet, answer sheet, or other “consumable” material shall not be copied.


A printed copy of a copyrighted musical work that has been lawfully purchased may be edited or simplified--provided that the fundamental character of the work is not distorted, existing lyrics are not altered, or new lyrics are added.

 Emergency copies of copyrighted music for an imminent performance can replace purchased copies for any reason--provided that replacement copies of the original copyrighted music shall be purchased and substituted in due course.

 A single copy of recordings of a performance by TCC students may be made for evaluation or rehearsal purposes and may be retained by TCC or a TCC faculty member.

 A copyrighted musical work shall not be copied for the purpose of performance nor copied for the purpose of substituting for the purchase of music--except as provided by the exemptions listed previously in this section.

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