GAINING COPIES OF MUSIC FROM BHS THAT DO NOT HAVE INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT CLEARANCE
The Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) offers a music clearance service to assist Barbershop Harmony Australia members with sheet music arrangements that do not have international copyright clearance.
BHS already offers hundreds of arrangements that are available for ordering by international customers. These can be ordered by BHA members via BHS’s website at https://shop.barbershop.org .
However, if there is other music in the BHS catalogue without international copyright that you wish to use, it is now possible to seek clearance through BHS.
First, you need to complete a BHS Arrangement & Reproduction Request Form (click here for the BHS Arrangement and Reproduction Request Form and submit to BHS via email to firstname.lastname@example.org . The request is then processed by BHS. Turnaround time is usually 30-45 days, but may take longer, depending on the copyright holder(s) of a song, the number of songs in the arrangement (medley), etc. Submitting the completed form to BHS authorizes them to seek the music clearance on your behalf.
The cost for clearance through BHS is typically US$150 for 4-20 authorized copies (you print on your own) and the permission is exclusive to the performing group only. This fee covers the permission to arrange, the authorized copies needed, and time/materials fee. (Please note arrangers fees are no longer charged.) You will have an option to cancel your order with BHS at any time before the permission order is paid. The BHS cancellation fee is US$50.
BHS employs reasonable best efforts to secure the requested permissions on your behalf for the arrangement. However, US copyright owners have the right and authority by law to charge any fee, determine turnaround time, and even reject the request outright. For this reason BHS cannot guarantee clearance, in whole or in part, for any arrangement; BHS also cannot guarantee turnaround time, fee quotes, or clearance success.
The alternative is for members is to seek an inspection copy from BHS and then follow the procedures for gaining a copyright print licence in Australia. Some members indicate this is a time-consuming task. Print copies purchased in this way are usually around AU$4 a copy.
Member feedback on this new BHS service would be appreciated.
Trevor Rootes - BHA Secretary