High Schools Allowed Free Use of Copyrighted Music Until 15 June 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 14, 2020) – Several prominent music publishers have temporarily allowed the use of their copyrighted music for educational purposes through an agreement with the NFHS and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). These guidelines are designed to allow high school musicians to complete their year-end assessments and for classroom instruction while schools are closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The agreement will expire on June 15.

“The publishers have been gracious with their permissions to allow students the ability to complete their year-end assessments while remaining copyright compliant,” said Dr. James Weaver, director of performing arts and sports. “The NFHS has worked for many years to help schools be copyright compliant. This move by the publishers should be applauded for the assistance they are providing schools in this unprecedented time.” 

For music to be distributed for K-12 assessment and adjudication, student recordings must meet the following guidelines:

  • Performances can only be shared for educational assessment or state adjudication purposes.
  • Performances must be shared in as private of a setting as possible and must be viewable only by an individual link.
  • The recorded performance must use legally purchased music.
  • Any arrangements made shall have proper permissions secured prior to recording.
  • Once the recorded performance has been adjudicated, it must be deleted from the sharing platform.

“These requirements are designed to allow schools and students to still participate in their music education as well as protect the intellectual property of the music publishers,” said Weaver. “The permissions afforded by the publishers are temporary in order to get us through the remainder of the school year.”

The five publishing houses that have agreed to allow their music to be used include:

  • Alfred
  • Barnhouse
  • Hal Leonard
  • Warner-Chappell Music
  • Warner Entertainment

Collectively, the publishers account for approximately 95 percent of available educational music.



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