Copyright quiz

At National Seminar in Portland (July 2013), I taught a class called ‘Copyright Basics for Handbell Musicians.’ While the class was gathering, I handed out this quiz to pique interest and give everyone something to do while waiting. I thought you might enjoy trying it.

A reminder that I’m available to teach the copyright class for other groups, like Area conferences, and can adapt it for other kinds of musicians.

True or false:

1) The copyright holder retains all rights to the use of sheet music. The purchaser has only the rights specifically granted by law or permission of the copyright holder.
2) You can tell whether something is under copyright by its composition date.
3) A tune can be in the public domain, but an arrangement of it can be under copyright.

Multiple choice (more than one answer may apply to each question):

4) If you have questions about copyright, the smart thing to do is:
a. Ask around at handbell events, or post on Handbell-L, then go with the answer you like best.
b. Read the copyright law online.
c. Look for reliable sources like university, association, and educator resources online.
d. Call your brother-in-law, who went to law school and became a public defender.
e. Consult an attorney specializing in intellectual property law.

5) The copyright holder is:
a. The composer.
b. The publisher.
c. Either of the above.

6) “Public domain:”
a. Means the city can knock down your house to build a freeway.
b. Means a work is free of copyright restrictions, and can be used by anyone for any purpose.
c. Can differ by geographic area; a work can be under copyright in some countries and in the public domain elsewhere.

7) Photocopying handbell music without permission of the copyright holder is:
a. The eighth deadly sin.
b. A violation of the handbell Guild’s code of ethics.
c. Punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, in certain circumstances.
d. Detrimental to all handbell musicians, especially composers and publishers.
e. Inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.

8) Under what circumstances does everyone have the automatic right to copy copyrighted music?
a. To mark it up; just keep the legal copy in the same binder.
b. To give to a piano accompanist, for a solo or duet work.
c. To enlarge for a ringer with vision problems.
d. To print on sturdier paper for outdoor use.
e. To give or fax to a substitute ringer.
f. To store and share as a PDF.
g. When the sheet music budget is a joke.
h. None of the above, without the express permission of the copyright holder.

9) A master license gives you the right to:
a. Boss everyone around during setup and teardown.
b. Make unlimited copies of sheet music for any reason.
c. Make copies according to the terms of the license.

10) A CCLI license entitles you to:
a. Print hymns in the Sunday bulletin for the congregation to sing.
b. Buy one copy of handbell music and photocopy enough for the whole bell choir.
c. Snooze during the sermon.

11) “Fair use:”
a. Means that if a use seems fair, it is allowed.
b. Is a technical legal term for permitted use of copyrighted material in narrowly defined circumstances.
c. Almost never applies to copying an entire piece of music.
d. Almost never applies to a musical performance outside an educational institution.

12) Who is responsible for paying royalties (e.g. ASCAP) on public performances?
a. The performer(s).
b. The promoter.
c. The venue.
d. Any of the above may be pursued for payment.

13) When is a performance exempt from royalty payments?
a. When offered in worship.
b. At an afternoon church concert.
c. When your community group has 501(c)(3) status.
d. When you’ve decided to “fly under the radar.”
e. At a nursing home.
f. When you don’t charge admission, just take donations.
g. When all music performed is in the public domain.

14) Does playing music at a wedding reception constitute a public performance?
a. Yes, if alcohol is served, and the treble section imbibes.
b. Yes, if it’s in a public building, like a church or banquet hall.
c. No, if held in an exclusive country club.
d. No, if attendance is by invitation.

15) A mechanical license:
a. Is required for audio-recording copyrighted music.
b. Is compulsory and available at a statutory rate, if the copyright holder has exercised the right of first recording.
c. Entitles you to drive a fully-loaded Bellmobile, with foam on the roof-rack.
d. Is too confusing for artistic types, so just give up now.

16) Harry Fox is:
a. An animal hunted at Downton Abbey.
b. The most popular person on Facebook.
c. A clearinghouse for recording licenses.
d. The only way to obtain mechanical licenses.

17) A synchronization license:
a. Lets marching bands parade on public streets.
b. Is issued at the discretion of the copyright holder, who may refuse to allow it, or charge any fee desired.
c. Is required whenever images are set to copyrighted music for public viewing.

True or false:

18) You can get around copyright restrictions by calling a song a “cover.”
19) It’s OK to play a copyrighted piano work or SATB hymn on handbells, or to make your own handbell arrangement of a popular song.
20) The only revenue a composer or publisher can expect is from the sale of sheet music.
21) It’s OK to upload a video of copyrighted music to YouTube, Facebook, or your website, if you’re not making money from it.
22) If YouTube runs ads against your video, call and complain, and they’ll go away.
23) You’re a community bell group giving a concert. If everyone is playing from legal copies of handbell music, and you’re paying royalties to ASCAP, there are no other copyright issues to consider.
24) If something is posted on the Internet, you’re free to use it in any way you like.
25) Before you copy or reproduce class handouts you receive at handbell events, you need the instructor’s permission.

1 – T
2 – F
3 – T
4 – b,c,e
5 – a,b,c
6 – b,c
7 – c,d
8 – h
9 – c
10 – a
11 – b,c,d
12 – a,b,c,d
13 – a,g
14 – d
15 – a,b
16 – c
17 – b,c
18-24 – all F
25 – T

Copyright © 2013 Nancy Kirkner,