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Sound and music


Copyright in musical works is complex, as multiple rights exist separately in the lyrics, music, performance, and the actual recording. The composer, lyricist, performer(s) and music publisher will all have rights in a piece of music, although they may have assigned them to another person or organisation.

You must have permission from all rightsowner(s) in order to copy, adapt, perform, broadcast or put it on the internet. Media Services have a collection of music CDs which can be used in student work within the University. Copyright would need to be cleared for use outside Brunel.

The Performing Right Society collects licence fees for the public performance and broadcasting of musical works. The Mechanical Copyright Protection Society collects and distributes 'mechanical' royalties generated from the recording of music on to different formats. The websites of both organisations give helpful information about music copyright.

The Royal College of Music has published Copyright - a guide to working practices (2001), which provides useful advice on music copyright for lecturers and researchers.

Printed music

Printed music may not be copied under the Copyright Licensing Agency Licence.

The Music Publishers Association has a code of fair practice which describes circumstances under which they will allow copying without application to the copyright owner.

Students or teachers may copy short excerpts of musical works provided that they are for study only (not performance). Copying whole movements or whole works is forbidden. Copying music for private study, or for use in examinations is also not permitted.

Off air recording

The University has a licence from the Educational Recording Agency. Radio and TV programmes may be recorded for non-commercial educational purposes, provided they are labelled correctly. Labels should show the date, time and title of the recording and the statement "This Recording is to be used only under the terms of the ERA Licence". Full details of the Licence are given on the Educational Recording Agency website.

Media Services administer the licence for the University and will be able to provide further advice, and record material for you. Video and audio tapes may then be catalogued and added to the Library collection for students to borrow or consult in the Library. Video and audio clips recorded off air may also be shown in lectures or mounted in the University's e-learning environment, Blackboard Learn, provided it is only possible to view the content on campus, and Media Services are able to advise on the

Music downloads

Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing of musical works is illegal, as copying musical works may only be carried out with the permission of the rightowner(s). Individuals who break the law in this manner can be traced and prosecuted, even where material is downloaded from an international website.

University servers and equipment should never be used for downloading music from any sources, legal or illegal as this contravenes the Brunel Acceptable Computer Use Policy (BACUP) linked below. Music downloads slow down the network and are a huge drain on system resources even where files are in compressed formats such as MP3, AAC, etc. Downloading music illegally also poses a security risk by potentially leaving personal computers or networks open to virus attacks. When downloading music through your home internet connection, you should ensure that you always use legal and reputable sources.