Who ownes these pages of music?
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Posted by Lonn D. Robertson on January 06, 2000 at 23:02:00:
A composer creates a piece of choral music. The composer copywrights that piece but makes 20+ copies for a local church choir to sing at church services (the music is reproduced on the church copier with church paper). Those copies are knowingly placed in the choir folders and remain there for 2+ years. No verbal or written restrictions are given. No notices other than the copywright notation are present on the copied pieces of music. The church choir and director are under the impression that the pages of music are a gift. The choir does not make further copies but does perform the piece for the church many times - without the expressed permission of the composer BUT with the composer's knowledge. No notices are given by the composer. The composer gets frustrated with the choir and asks to have all copies of the music returned to the composer. Would the choir be in conflict w/ copywright law to sing the pieces during a church service? Does the church have the legal obligation to return the music? Thanks for your opinion.
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