Handbell Musicians of America recognizes that many musicians are using tablet computers instead of traditional music stands to hold music and that some among our membership would like to use this option when participating in ringing and performance activities at national events. This practice is not directly addressed in copyright law nor has there been enough case law to establish a standard practice for this activity.
We support and encourage the development of new technologies, techniques, and innovations that will continue to help us achieve our mission of furthering the art of handbell and handchime ringing. At the same time, we have a fiduciary responsibility to uphold the copyright laws of the United States. To that end, we have consulted with music publishers and copyright attorneys to develop the following policy regarding the use of tablets at our events.
Handbell Musicians of America is committed to upholding the copyright laws of the United States and protecting the rights of our publishers, arrangers and composers. If you wish to use a tablet computer to hold your music in place of standard paper copies on a music stand, you must contact the publisher of each piece of music to first obtain permission to convert a purchased piece of music to the format required for the tablet you are using. Copies of the written permission received from publishers must be presented on request from the event organizer, event chair, or Handbell Musicians of America staff. Permission from a publisher for one piece does not imply permission for other songs from the same publisher. The title of each song used in this format must be included in the written permission received. Attendee should also have legally purchased copies of all music with them for verification.
Questions or concerns regarding this policy may be directed to Ed Rollins, executive director or to any national board member.