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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12179
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Please can you tell me where I would stand, legally, if I,

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Please can you tell me where I would stand, legally, if I, among many fellow singers in a choir, giving a public performance in England, were 'caught' singing from a photocopy, or a printed scan or screenshot - one which had been distributed to the singers - of a printed, or legally downloaded, published score of music which is still in copyright, and which is available for loan or purchase, notwithstanding that it may be obtainable only from another country and imported? I seem to remember reading somewhere, in recent years, that each person using an illegal photocopy in a music performance could be fined up to a maximum of £5,000 if caught. And two directly related questions, please: 1 How might one be caught, and by whom? 2 Shouldn't it be the music or music education organisation or society distributing the photocopies that is penalised, not the individual performers, when the latter, presented with photocopies, have no other reasonable option than to refuse to participate in the performance? Thank you in anticipation of your kind help.

Are you performing professionally?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
No, I perform as an amateur choral singer.

Each member of a choir should have a legally purchased copy of their part unless the copies are being used for educational purposes so you are right that there is the possibility of prosecution and fines. 1. Trading standards officers could investigate breaches of copyright. 2. The organisation and the individual members could both be targeted. I hope that helps. Happy to discuss further. Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.

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