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How can I find the copyright owner for permission to use a piece of music?

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With certain limited exceptions, to use any work that is in copyright, you must first get permission. The type of permission required depends on how you wish to use the work.

  • For permission to photocopy printed music, the MPA can help to direct you to the copyright owner. You should provide as much information about the music as possible, including the title, composer, lyricist (if any), any arranger or editor and the date of publication or copyright line (usually inside the front cover or at the bottom of the first page of the music), together with the name of any publisher that you have for the edition. More about printed music.
  • For permission to arrange works the MPA can help to direct you to the copyright owners. You should provide as much information about the music as possible, including the title and writer/s.
  • For permission to use works in films, commercials or games you should contact the copyright owners. The MPA can help to direct you to them.
  • For permission to record music you should contact PRS for Music.
  • For permission to perform music live you should contact PRS for Music.
  • For permission to broadcast music or include it in a cable programme service you should contact PPL and PRS for Music.
  • For permission to perform a musical, opera or ballet you should contact the copyright owner/s directly. Again the MPA can help to direct you.
  • For permission to play a recording of music in any public place you should contact PRS for Music and PPL. For any other usage not mentioned above you should contact the copyright owners directly. The MPA can help to direct you.

For any other usage not mentioned above you should contact the copyright owners directly. The MPA can help to direct you.