Ask the Expert – Is burning CDs from itunes legal when its used for educational purposes?
Mark Livingstone from London asks:
“This is a question about music for educational purposes within a church worship band setting. I am a drum teacher and also head up the percussion at my local church. I teach several children that also play at my church. I have downloaded some key church worship rock songs from itunes, in order to help my students learn some of the songs…… I wanted to circulate copies of the songs and burn them to cd’s …. is this legal? Could you check and see how this stands legally with copyright rules etc. Maybe if it is for education purposes then it is different to normal duplication of recorded music? Any advice would be most welcome.”
I’m afraid burning CDs from itunes and then giving them out to students is against the law. Buying any itunes type MP3 and making a copy that’s not for your own personal use is illegal and exactly what the record industry is trying to stop as it effectively loses millions of pounds a year against potential sales.
However we do have a legal solution. If you get your students to go to this link on our blog we’ve teamed up with an organisation called Spotify that do an itunes type service where you can legally stream songs instead of downloading them. Spotify have secured most of the major labels catalogues, there’s lots of Chrisitian stuff on there and the quality and streaming rate is superb. (You do have to be in the UK to access this service).
The best bit though is that whilst Spotify is normally a subscription charge of £9.99 a month we have secured it free of charge for all our UK users if you follow the link!! (sorry for legal reasons it wont accept non UK IP addresses)
I know where you are coming from in the question about whether this is legal for educational purposes. Whilst photocopying from a book is not normally legal without a licence, there is provision in UK law to copy up to 5% of a book for educational purposes. However the same cannot be said for copying music. Also if you do need to make multiple photocopies in a church context, CCLI do provide an annual photocopy licence.