No. H-1260 (1978).

Case Date:October 31, 1978
Texas Attorney General Opinions 1978. No. H-1260 (1978). October 31, 1978Opinion No. H-1260Hill Opinion No. H-1260 Office of the Attorney General State of TexasHonorable Lloyd D. VincentPresidentAngelo State UniversitySan Angelo, Texas 76901SYLLABUS: 1978-1260 Re: Application of Copyright Revision Act of 1976 to performances of musical works at state colleges and universities. Dear President Vincent: You inquire about the application of federal copyright law to musical performances at state colleges and universities. The Copyright Revision Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. ss 101-810, gives a copyright owner the exclusive right to authorize the public performance of his musical works, subject to the Fair Use Doctrine and certain specific exceptions. 17 U.S.C. ss 106(4); 107; 110. Other persons who wish to perform copyrighted music publicly must secure the copyright holder's permission, usually by paying him a licensing fee. See 17 U.S.C. s 501(a). Many copyright owners have authorized private performing rights organizations, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishing (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), to license their works. These organizations have asked state supported colleges and universities to sign blanket licensing agreements, which require the payment of a yearly fee in exchange for the right to perform any composition in the society's repertory. The fee is based on the institution's enrollment and the number of major concerts it holds each year. You first ask whether state supported colleges and universities must secure permission for the performance of copyrighted works on campus. Although prior law required a license only when a performance was 'for profit,' Act of July 30, 1947, ch. 391, s 104, 61 Stat. 652; see also Annot., 23 A.L.R. Fed. 974 (1975), the new law also requires licensing for nonprofit performances, with certain specific exceptions. The following provisions are most relevant to your questions: Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 [17 U.S.C. s 106], the following are not infringements of copyright: (1) performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction . . .; . . . . (4) performance of a nondramatic literary or musical work otherwise than in a transmission to the public, without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage and without payment of any fee or other...

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