Copying printed musical works

Musical works in this context refer to printed copies of musical scores. The educational copying provisions are of limited value in relation to the reproduction of musical works, due to those provisions applying only to works of more than 10 pages.

  • If a work is more than 10 pages in length, you may copy a reasonable portion only.
  • If an item is less than 10 pages in length, it cannot be copied under educational copying provisions (i.e. you cannot make multiple copies and distribute to students).
  • NOTE: The 10% rule does not apply to musical anthologies (collections of musical works). Each item within the anthology is treated as a separate work, and you may only copy a reasonable portion or a particular work if that work is greater than 10 pages in length.

You may copy all of a work if:

  • the work is out of print and not commercially available within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price (see the Glossary for an explanation of terms)
  • the work is out of copyright.

Out of copyright musical works

Note that, even though an original musical work may be out of copyright, there may still be copyright protection in one or more of the following conditions:

  • an arrangement would create a new copyright in the arrangement
  • a translation to the words or lyrics of an out of copyright work would create a new copyright in the translation
  • the work of an editor to an out of copyright work would create a new copyright in the edited version of the underlying work.


  • The amounts you can communicate are the same as the amounts you can reproduce. Digital copies must be registered through myReadings.