Dance and Music Rights Resources

The Actual Copyright Law


The most pertinent part of the code for performance copyright on our stages.

University of Illinois Resources

Illinois Library Copyright Resources

The UIUC Library publishes a guide to copyright issues, focused more on using writings and media in your work, rather than copyright in general.

Copyright at Illinois

A clearinghouse for copyright guidance, and resources at the University of Illinois. Most of these resources concern print copyright, but there is some information in here about the arts.

Resources at Other Universities

University of Texas System Copyright Crash Course web site. Contains sections on managing your creative output, building on the works of others, and institutional management of both copyright and risk.

Stanford University has a very thorough, in-depth site discussing Copyright and Fair Use.

Resources Elsewhere

Reverbnation: Music Law Archives

Dance/USA has a number of excellent articles about dance and copyright law issues:

Artist’s Legacy Toolkit: Copyright
Guide to Music Rights for Perplexed Choreographers
Copyright and Choreography: The Good, The Bad, and The Fair
Music Licensing 101: The Pretty to the Nitty-gritty
Copyright Basics for Dance Works 
Mother May I … Dance? Copyright, Fair Use, and Dance 10/12/2011

More from Dance/USA
Music Grand Rights Clearance Template (with BMI, ASCAP, SESAC links)
And all of the articles about copyright can be found under this search (Nov 2021)

“To Comply … Or Not Comply Revisited by David Karagianis, part of the Scoville Series of articles on music for dancers at Utah Dance Education Organization.

Music Rights Primer – Association of the Bar of the City of New York

Information for Dance Studios from ASCAP


More In-Depth Reading on Copyright issues

“Fresh Scholarship on Copyright” by David Newhoff. This interesting article is not about copyright law, per se, but discusses legal scholar Joseph P. Fishman’s “scientific approach to examine the creative process in an effort to better understand copyright’s generative benefits,” rather than its negative side.

The International Guild of Musicians in Dance journals contain articles of interest, particularly in Journal #2, 1992, which features “How Copyright Law Affects Musicians For Dance” by Katherine Teck.

Helpful Organizations

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts is an advocacy and advice group for artists.

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.

Free Expression Policy Project provides research and advocacy on free speech, copyright, and media democracy issues.