JKS Music is committed to all of the copyright laws of the United States of America.
In order to have ANY arrangement done of a published musical work (basically, any piece that is not in the public domain), permission to arrange must be granted by the publisher. This law is in place to preserve the integrity of the composer's original work and to give him or her the credit they deserve when the work is performed.
The actual process of requesting permission to arrange is pretty simple, but you must have patience and realize that there WILL be times permission won't be granted. The following information is for your reference, and while we believe the information to be accurate, we provide no guarantee or warranty concerning the materials or the interpretation of applicability of the laws to your situation. Copyright compliance is the responsibility of the user of the creative works.
If desired, JKS Music can be hired to request permission to arrange for you.
A company that would be more than happy to assist you obtain permission to arrange and perform is Copycat Music Licensing. Copycat is top notch and has a great reputation within the marching activity.
In a nutshell, here's how the process works:
- Visit either the BMI or ASCAP websites, and search for publisher information on the composer and piece you are interested in arranging.
- Next, contact the publisher and ask for the person in charge of permission to arrange. This person will either give you a fax number or mailing address for the permission to arrange request (PDF) to be sent to, or they might have you follow their own policy for permission to arrange.
- Once you have sent in the paperwork, you wait (this is where the patience factor weighs in). It can range from 2 weeks to 2 months before you hear anything from the publisher, but you WILL eventually hear from them. When you do, you will either find out that permission will NOT be granted, or you will receive some paperwork to sign and mail back to the publisher with the necessary fees.
- From there, you can relax (if permission was granted) and move on with your marching season.
Make sure you have received permission for all the different ways in which you will be using the copyrighted music. For example, to abide by all copyright laws, you need permission to arrange, permission to perform, permission to record, permission to display, permission to synchronize arrangement to a drill video and permission to record music on a color guard video.
JKS Music requires all contracted bands to comply with all copyright laws.
For more information on this subject, please visit the Bands of America page for Copyright Music Laws.