Is sharing music with a substitute musician to let them practice legal?

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  • Hi Everyone,

    I'm designing an app in whic musicians request a substitute and  the substitute will agree to cover for them. My question is that I want to implement a feature that will allow musicians to share the music with the substitute only and have it expire after the event is finished and not allow them to print it or take a screenshot. Does this violate copyright laws? Am I responsible for the what music the musicians post even though it's only between the two musicians (substitute and musician requesting the substitute)? Can I put a clause in that would make them responsible for any copyright infringements? Is there anything else I need to do on my end to make it copyright compliant?




  • Steven:


    I think I understand your question but I am going to consult a couple of top notch music copyright experts, and then respond.


  • Thank you I really apreciate it!




  • Steven: my sources provided different opinions. One said that if protective measures are used, and it is for teaching, a fair use argument can be made.

    My other source said"but I'm not sure why the sub wouldn't get the music from the performing ensemble or other sponsor of the event." And ..." I think the person needs to consult a lawyer, because the answers to all the questions are some variation of "it depends."  Much will depend on the specifics of the software, any EULAs involved, etc" 

    So, there may be an issue because of the software you are using to make the transfer. Term of use may say something like you cannot use the software to transfer intellectual property."

    I'm also remembering that a court found that a company whose business was transferring a file to a customer and deleting the copy from their cloud was not fair use.  Your situation is not exactly the same, but at some point in time, as you develop the app, you'll have to check with an attorney anyway.

    Unfortunately, few attorneys are knowledgeable about the copyright law. And who knows what the fee may be. 

    Sorry we cannot be more definitive.

    Good luck!

    Carrie Russell



  • I believe that Capitol Records v Redigi is the lawsuit Carrie is referring to about file transfer:

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