Ok so, I'm submitting a Marching Band version of one of my Latin Jazz compositions to a publisher for their 2014 catalog. I guess you can say, it's the marching band arrangement of my own work.

I understand that when working with publishers, the copyright is held by the publisher and not the arranger. Usually publishers will pay out a percentage of sheet music sales to the arranger/composer. So the question is as follows: being that I own the copyright to the original composition and they will own the copyright to the marching band version of the same song; will any legal issues arise when I choose to publish (either audio or sheet music) or perform the original Latin Jazz version on my own piece?

Any input would be appreciated. I hope it doesn't sound to confusing. Thanks!

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  • Thank you for your reply!

    To clarify, they just want the Marching Band version, which is my arrangement of the original (which also happens to be my own work). From my understanding, if you were to arrange a public domain piece for a publisher (let's say, Overture of 1812), the publisher owns the copyright to that arrangement of Overture of 1812, but the original is still in the Public Domain.

    I just wanted to clarify to see if it works similarly with copyright protected material coming from the source. I am, in essence, giving them permission to arrange, and doing the arrangement myself. Are you sure I cannot keep the copyright to the original?

    Thank you again and I apologize if it sounds confusing.

  • Ok, that's very helpful advice. I just went online and checked out numerous arrangements of any given song and the copyright belongs to the owner of the original work, not the derivative. So if I choose to go through with this arrangement, they will have also purchased the original. It's something I need to consider as I also do some self publishing. Thank you again for the help!

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