Is it legal to record my school band concert and give the attendees CDs?

The music is copyrighted by the various composers, etc, but I think that would be just for the sheet music, not the audio created by myself, and the other musicians.

Please cite your sources, as I don't exactly want to get sued for this... :)


EDIT: As Jim has noted below, another variable here is the location. Any laws regarding the United States, or more specifically Minnesota, would be good.

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    This isn't a legal aid site. You might get some answers here but you'd be foolish to rely on them if you actually have concerns about being sued. In any case the answer would depend on factors you haven't mentioned, such as your location. – Jim Mack Jan 24 '15 at 22:13

If the sheet music you are talking about is classical music, they are in public domain because the copyrights expire some time after composer's death (50-70 years depending on the laws of the country). If they are contemporary works you can't record and distribute them without getting permission.

You can rely here for not taking action but if you want to take action you should always consult a lawyer.

  • They are copyrighted. Do you have any sources to cite, or are you just giving advice on what you would do? – Cullub Jan 26 '15 at 18:13
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    Copyrights expire after some time composer's death. "In most of the world, the default length of copyright is the life of the author plus either 50 or 70 years." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright#Duration So not just a random advice. They were copyrighted but expired. – Guney Ozsan Jan 26 '15 at 18:48
  • Yes, thanks. Unfortunately, they are still copyrighted (that's what I meant - sorry it wasn't more clear.) – Cullub Jan 26 '15 at 20:26

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