Copyright take downs

• Oct 25, 2020 - 16:41

I don't see a forum for this issue; I hope putting it here is OK. Even though Musescore has agreements with the copyright organizations to be able to publish copyrighted music, it is perfectly legal for copyright owners to "takedown" a copyrighted piece they don't want published on If I put a copyrighted score on and it gets taken down, would I be notified? I asked because I could swear I put a piece on, but It is not there, so I am wondering if it was taken down.


No score would get taken down, it would just get made private (and you can then set it to unlisted, but should not set it to public again).

However, you'd better ask things like this over there on

Indeed, this has nothing to do with, best to ask questions like this over there on since that is what you are asking about. But one thing I'd like to clarify: there are no "copyright organizations" involved here, just actual music publishers. MuseScore has agreements with some music publishers but not all. If piece you uploaded does not happen to be published by one of those specific companies, then indeed they can ask the score be taken down or made private. The list of companies is almost certainly constantly in flux, which is no doubt why there isn't a list anywhere that I know of.

In reply to by odelphi231

Those are for performance rights. They don't handle print rights, totally different thing. As is recording (aka mechanical) rights, which are administered by Harry Fox Agency for most publishers.

So, while performing rights go through only three channels for most music, and mechanical rights go through only one (again, for most but not all music), there is nothing like this for print rights. You have to license from each publisher independently. Luckily, a whole lot of music is published by a few major companies, but it's nowhere near as close to "all music" as ASCAP/BMI/SESAC for performance or HFA for mechanicals.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Good to know! To be clear, I was referring to the US organizations mentioned - ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. These are for performance rights only..

In any case, the need to secure rights in different countries also means that even if ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC did handle print rights, you'd still still to negotiate deals with many more than just those three. You might think that folks would realize this Internet fad probably is going to catch on and get with the 21st century here and come up with some new schemes - maybe even make compulsory print rights a thing internationally as they are for mechanical rights in the US.

But for now, unfortunately there is no way to do this except to work with individual publishers.

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