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  • 1.4 Restrictive Provisions
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As a rule, a copyright gives composers the exclusive right to make the use and exploitation of their work subject to their permission [1]. However, this is not an absolute right, and for practical reasons there are certain limitations. The justification for such restrictions is based on the interest of education, research and culture. That said, none of the restrictive provisions can limit the author's moral rights.


Categories of Restrictive Provisions


The restrictions fall into three categories, including full restriction, compulsory license system, and contractual license system [2]. Full restriction means that in certain cases works can be freely used for certain purposes. In that case, a musical composition can be used without the author's permission and without compensation. In the compulsory license system, the work can be used without the author's permission, but the author must be compensated for its use. Playing records on the radio is based on the compulsory license system. [3] Photocopying is based on the contractual license system. Works under this system  can be exploited only with the author's permission and compensation must be paid. [4] You do not necessarily have to obtain the permission directly from the authors but from the organization that represents them (if the composers are members of an organization). In Finland, authors of music (composers, authors of lyrics, and arrangers) are represented by Teosto Ry, which will be illustrated in a later section of this article more closely. In the following, six common examples in relation to restrictive provisions are presented. The restrictive provisions are meant for certain situations, where the work can be used without prior consent of the author. 70 years after the year of the death of an author, all work by that author becomes work of the public domain. Then, it is no longer necessary to resort to the restrictive provisions, works in public domain can be used without permission and without compensation in all situations.


Temporary Reproduction

Temporary reproduction of a work is allowed without the author's permission. It is allowed when the reproduction forms an integral part of a technological process, is transient in nature, is carried out for the sole purpose of enabling transmission in a network by an intermediary, and has no separate economic value on its own [5]. For example, listening to a musical composition on a website creates a copy in the computer's cache that is a necessary reproduction required for listening to the musical composition. 


Private Copying

Anyone can produce a few copies of a published work for private use. There are no limitations regarding the method of copying, and therefore, copying can be done by way of manual copying, photocopying, downloading from the internet, or any other way. Private use refers to copying the work for personal use or within one's family. Personal use is considered to include, among other things, studying, private research and hobbies that do not involve commercial gain. However, such copies cannot be used for any other purposes. Thereby a performing artist, too, is allowed as a professional to make copies of musical compositions for practicing on his own or within a private group. That said, an artist performing a musical composition to the public from the notes he has copied is not considered to fulfill the criteria for private use.

According to the Copyright Act, private copying can, as a rule, be performed by a third party [6]. This means that the copying can be commissioned to a company offering copying services. Musical compositions form an exception to this rule. Copying notes must always be done alone, for example with the self-service copier of a company offering copying services.



According to the Copyright Act, published works can be quoted to the extent required by the specific purpose and in accordance with fair practice. As a rule, a work is considered to have been published when reproductions of it have been made available to the public with the author's permission.

The fair practice of quoting has been considered to require using the quotation to aid intellectual creative work. Thus, quotations must be appropriately connected to the work of the quoting party. In addition, the quotation must fulfill the so-called invoking function [7], i.e. there must be a justifiable reason for using a quote in the context it is presented in. Acceptable use of quotations includes, among other things, providing support for your own thoughts and views and quoting for illustrative purposes. The author's name and the source must be acknowledged in the extent and manner required by fair practice. Generally this means stating the place of printing and the quoted pages in addition to the name of the author and the work.

All types of works can be quoted using any available technology. Therefore, any published work can be quoted within the meaning of the Copyright Act. A work consisting of quotes only, however, is not considered to conform to the principles of fair practice [8]. A quotation should not be so short, either, that it gives a false impression of its source. With musical compositions, the problem is usually that the quotation is too long, in which case it is considered plagiarism. There is no specific rule on how big a portion of someone else's musical composition you can quote. That is determined on a case-to-case basis. The Copyright Council last discussed the acceptable length of a quotation in its opinion 2009:7 [9].


Copying in Educational Establishments

Copying in educational establishments is permitted under contractual licenses. They allow limited photocopying and similar copying of published works. Music schools are covered by an agreement between the Ministry of Education and Kopiosto that requires that the pupils are not charged for the copies. If they are charged for the copies, the school must obtain a separate license from Kopiosto. Private music schools (unless operated under by the Ministry of Education) must always obtain a copying license. The copying right does not include the right to convert works into digital format.

Teachers can copy up to 10 pages of any sheet music publication for educational purposes for the same students within one semester, or half of that if the sheet music publication has less than 20 pages. The copying of entire sheet music publications is not allowed. Copying sheet music for use in a performance is permitted to a certain extent.  Sheet music can be copied for a performance and for practicing for a performance if it is in connection to teaching or an event organized by the school with free entry and an audience consisting mainly of students and staff. However, this does not remove the obligation to pay compensation for public performance if works protected by copyrights are performed in the concert.


Reproduction for Education

A published musical composition performed by a teacher or a student can be reproduced by recording the sound or image [10]. That means that, for example, a concert by students may be recorded without permission from the author of the work. Such reproduction is, however, only permitted for short-term use in teaching.


Compilations in Education

Small parts of musical compositions, or in case of short musical compositions, entire works may be included in a compiled work used in teaching. The musical composition should be at least five years old, counting from the year it was published. In addition, the restriction only applies to compilations that are produced by printing or some other comparable method. [11] In other words, the restriction applies only to musical compositions that are published as sheet music.

Whether a musical composition is extensive and what constitutes a small part is decided on a case-to-case basis. However, a part of a musical composition that could be performed as such is not considered a small part. This restriction falls under the scope of the compulsory license system, i.e. the permission of a composer is not required, and the composer does not have the right to prevent such use of the work. The composer is, nevertheless, entitled to compensation for the use of his musical composition. [12]

Notes and References

[1] Copyright Act

[2] Copyright Act

[3] Gramex Korvausten kertyminen 

[4] Copyright Act § 26

[5] Harenko – Niiranen – Tarkela (2006) Tekijänoikeus: Kommentaari ja käsikirja. WSOYpro, Helsinki.

[6] Harenko – Niiranen – Tarkela (2006) Tekijänoikeus: Kommentaari ja käsikirja. WSOYpro, Helsinki.

[7] Haarmann, Pirkko-Liisa (2005) Tekijänoikeus ja lähioikeudet. Talentum, Helsinki.

[8] Harenko – Niiranen – Tarkela (2006) Tekijänoikeus: Kommentaari ja käsikirja. WSOYpro, Helsinki.

[9] Copyright Council opinion 2009:7

[10] Copyright Act

[11] Copyright Act

[12] Harenko – Niiranen – Tarkela (2006): Tekijänoikeus: Kommentaari ja käsikirja. WSOYpro, Helsinki.