Licensing FAQs

Distance learning and virtual adjudication usages

We understand that a certain number of copies of a score or part may be needed for judges at a festival or contest in which you or your organization is participating. If a work is not available for purchase and you are in need of copies for the judges' reference only, then you should submit your request for permission to make photocopies for contest use. The number of copies you would need in such a case is generally quite small (usually six or less) and all copies are to be destroyed after contest use.

If you are seeking permission to make legal photocopies for your organization's music library or if you are seeking permission to make a significant number of photocopies (9 or more) you should submit your request for permission to make permanent photocopies.

There will likely be a fee associated with processing your permission request. We are not able to give estimates or ballpark figures on fees since there are a number of different variables we take into consideration when setting our fees. All fees will be quoted in writing, as it is our policy never to give verbal permission.

We receive a number of requests from charitable or non-profit organizations. In an effort to be fair and equitable in our handling of all requests, it is our general policy not to grant gratis permission.

Hal Leonard does not accept or review unsolicited material for publication consideration.

If we quote a fee on a most favored nations basis, it means that we would be entitled to a higher fee than what we have quoted if you have agreed to pay another party a higher fee for a similar use.

We take a number of factors into consideration when considering your request. Permission to use a copyrighted work is never guaranteed. Your request might be denied for the following reasons:

  • If you wish to photocopy music still available for purchase.
  • If you wish to create an arrangement similar to an arrangement we have available for purchase.
  • If you wish to borrow specially licensed arrangements of songs from other schools, organizations or institutions.
  • If the publishers or songwriters have objections for any reason or if we are unable to secure the necessary approvals before your deadline.

Licensing requests for Applause Theatre & Cinema Books are now handled by Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. Please direct your request to the following address for the appropriate permission:

Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
Attn: Patricia Zline
4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200
Lanham, MD 20706
Fax: (301) 429-5748

Licensing requests for G. Schirmer and Associated Music Publishers are handled directly by Music Sales Corporation. All requests should be directed to the following address:

G. Schirmer Inc./Associated Music Publishers
c/o Music Sales Corporation
1247 6th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tel: 310-393-9900
Fax: 310-393-9925

With respect to non-dramatic public performances of copyrighted compositions, it is the venue in which you perform, such as the concert hall or night club, which must secure the necessary performance licensing. Non-dramatic musical performing rights are licensed by the following societies, on behalf of the copyright owners: ASCAP (American Society Of Composers, Authors, and Publishers), BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.), SESAC Inc. and GMR (Global Music Rights)

Section 110 of the U.S. Copyright Act does allow the non-dramatic performance of musical works by schools or churches during the course of worship services or school functions, provided there is no purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage, no compensation is paid to the performers, promoters or organizers and no admission is charged for the performance. If admission is charged, all proceeds must be used only for educational or charitable purposes.

The musical arrangements that Hal Leonard produces of songs that originated in film or Broadway shows may only be presented in a non-dramatic, concert setting and not in any way as dramatizations of the film or musical itself. If you desire to stage a performance of a dramatic nature (e.g., acting out a scene or scenes from a movie or musical) you must obtain the prior consent of the copyright owner. Any unauthorized dramatizations of a song will subject the user to penalties provided by copyright law.

In the United States, works created after January 1, 1978 will be protected for the life of the last living composer (author) plus 70 years. Copyrights existing prior to that date will continue for 95 years from the date copyright was originally secured.

The copyright owner of a work can be determined by looking at the copyright notice which is generally found at the bottom of the first page of music.

If you are unable to determine the copyright owner by looking at the music, please check the searchable databases of the performance rights societies (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, Inc. or GMR

Following are some links with helpful information about copyright law: