Is it necessary to obtain copyright permission to use excerpts of recorded or printed music in a dissertation or thesis?

Our answer:

When using examples of printed music not in the public domain, obtaining copyright permission is recommended. Determining if a recording is in the public domain can be problematic; again, the prudent course is to obtain permission if at all possible. For detailed information on seeking permission for excerpts of recorded or printed music, see FSU Libraries’ research guide on Copyright clearance for Music Theses, Treatises, and Dissertations.

If after due diligence, one is unable to secure permissions, use of copyrighted material may fall under the doctrine of fair use. If making an argument for fair use, one must do a thorough fair use analysis to determine if the use falls within those guidelines (see FAQ 2.2). Including an attribution to the source and copyright owner is strongly recommended.