St. Albert Rotary Music Festival
Rotary International

Copyright Policy and FAQ

The St. Albert Rotary Music Festival respects the rights of all composers, authors, lyricists and publishers to own their creations and to earn a living from their artistic works.

The Festival expects all performers, teachers and coaches to respect copyright. The St. Albert Rotary Music Festival does not tolerate the use of photocopied or altered copyright material by its participants and/or accompanists unless a letter of permission is provided by the publisher. Infringement of copyright law may result in disqualification of the participant.

A photocopy of an accompaniment may be used to ease page turning provided the accompanist has, at the accompanying instrument, a published edition of the selection.

Music purchased online must be accompanied by a receipt or letter indicating that the music is not a photocopy by virtue of the purchase.

Unauthorized recording of performances in any media is NOT permitted.

For further information refer to the Copyright Act of Canada.

The St. Albert Rotary Music Festival has applied for a performance exemption under SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada). However, the performers themselves are ultimately responsible for ensuring proper authorization has been obtained to perform their selections.

SOCAN’s repertoire covers 95% of music. The other 5% consists of individual authors, corporate authors (examples include Disney and Pixar) and publishing houses such as Fredrick Harris. The authority or permission to use works by these entities must come directly from the entities themselves.

In many cases a performer can apply for a fair use exemption by contacting them directly (“Fair Use” copy is defined as a copy for which use of the work is granted). If the work is not in SOCAN’s syllabus , then the Music Festival’s exemption under SOCAN will not protect you.

Festival performers are asked to remember that just because you have purchased a physical copy of your selection, this does not necessarily allow you to perform the work in public. Your purchased copy must state that performance permission is granted.

Under our Rules (refer to the Addenda (Local) Syllabus PDF), we require one licenced published copy of the work being performed to be turned in to the adjudicator before performance. This is to protect performers and adjudicators from infringing the author’s sole right to copy the work.

Musical Theatre works are considered “musical works” as opposed to “dramatic works”, and therefore performance rights are covered by SOCAN as above.


SOCAN’s syllabus has a searchable index .

For Literary Works:

For Dramatic Works:

  • Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) playwrightsguild.ca
    The Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) is the national service organization for professional playwrights. It represents nearly 400 members, distributes more than 2,000 plays and offers many services to the theatre-loving public. It acts as agent for the distribution of rights and collection of royalties.


Can I photocopy music from an out-of-print publication?
Copyright does not cease to exist just because a book is no longer for sale. It is only legal to make a copy of out-of-print music if permission is granted by the copyright holder. Contact the publisher of the music for permission to make a copy.

Do I need permission to copy works of long-dead composers?
Copyright exists both in a musical composition and in the physical notation of a musical score. This means that even if a composer's works are in the public domain (as Bach's are), a particular publisher's edition of those works is still protected property. So, if you wish to write out a particular Bach Invention by hand, then you may do so; however, you may not photocopy it from a music book without the publisher's permission.
(Note: The compositions of a living composer or a composer who has been dead for fewer than 70 years may not be copied without permission, either by hand or otherwise.)

How can I obtain permission to photocopy/internet download of an out-of-print selection that I find in a library or receive from a teacher?
Contact the publisher to request permission to make an authorized photocopy/internet download. Contact information for most publishers can be found online or obtained from a music retailer. Some music retailers can obtain authorized photocopies/internet downloads through a special online service.

I only have one original copy of my music but I need to bring three original copies for the Festival. What can I do?
In cases where you need more than one original copy (one for the adjudicator, yourself and accompanist) extra copies can be purchased, or borrowed from other sources such as a music retailer, teacher, library or another student.

I have ordered an original copy of my music for the festival but it has not arrived yet. What can I do?
Emergency copying to replace purchased copies which for any reason are not available for an imminent performance is allowed, provided purchased replacement copies shall be substituted in due course. It is fair use to make use of a photocopy provided you don't cancel your order. The Festival committee may request a sales slip from a music store to prove that the music has been ordered and paid for.