I’m a stickler about copyright. My students know all about that: when students come in with a copy of something that is still under copyright I won’t work with them until I know they’ve ordered the music.

If I’m going to be a stickler about copyright when it comes to my students I must be a stickler about it for other things as well as well. This means I can’t post poetry that is still under copyright: so many of us don’t understand copyright law about poetry and song lyrics! Did you know you can’t take a poem and put it to music without the author or publisher’s permission if it’s still under copyright? Did you know posting a part of a poem on your wonderful photograph is also against copyright law if the work is still under copyright? My (what some might consider uptight and rigid) “rule” means I don’t copy music except for study purposes prior to a performance of said work (and I don’t distribute that music, much as I wish I could give it to my kiddos). Maybe I’m over the top about this, but it’s important to me.

I once had a chat with a writer who made copies of pop music recordings for his friends. I was conversing with him about copyright and said, “Well what if I took your book and made copies and gave it to all my friends?” “That’s different!” he replied.

I didn’t see how that was any different. Call me silly.

I can’t tell you how many times I go on YouTube and read, “No copyright infringement intended” when someone breaks copyright law. I think the statement itself makes it rather clear that copyright infringement was intended! And today? (The reason I’m writing about this at the moment, actually.) I just read this: “No copyright intended”. Hah! Indeed.

(YouTube is a tricky one, though: sometimes I can’t tell if something was posted with permission or not. I know if I’m only seeing a copy of the album cover, or I see “no copyright infringement intended” I can’t post it here, though*. Those are dead giveaways!)

*Just after writing that I ran across this lovely YouTube video with just an album cover and I’ve been proven wrong! The label put this on their YouTube page. So never mind that as a dead giveaway. (And yes, I do like crossover artists on occasion … it has to work well, and Ann Sofie von Otter did this so very well that I purchased the album.)

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