Printing poem in music program

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  • Is it okay to print a poem with attribution in the printed program to be handed out to parents for a music class performance at school? The poem will be read by a student before one of the music numbers. The poem will only be read, not put to music or "performed". It is meant to be an introduction to the music piece. The performance is by elementary students at school and is a one-time event.
  • If you are making and distributing multiple copies of a poem that is still protected by copyright, and if this is an extracurricular performance (and not part of a classroom activity), in my opinion, you should obtain permission prior to reproducing and distributing. If you are unable to obtain permission prior to the performance, then I would suggest including a citation to the poem in the program instead of the full text.

    The performance itself (when the child reads the poem) would fall under section 110(4) as an acceptable, non-infringing use. But the multiple copying and distributing is not clearly fair use, so obtaining prior permission would be the safest route.

    Note: the above assumes that this poem is still protected by copyright. If the poem is in the public domain, then copying and distributing would not be infringement.

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