Copyright and IPad usage

Please note the important change in policy regarding IPads and the checking of copyright. The emphasis is on “obvious”.

Obvious Infringement

NATS will prohibit competitors who are obviously infringing upon copyright from taking part in our events, and thereby NATS does not become a contributory partner in infringement.  Auditions chairs are solely charged with this responsibility.  Because of the difficulties in determining which tablet copies of scores are authorized and which are infringing, and because of the ubiquitous use of tablets today, NATS no longer performs this investigative role so long as (i) the infringement is non-obvious, and (ii) the tablet owner certifies it is an authorized copy and agrees to indemnify NATS. 

If auditions chairs notice a pianist using a tablet obviously containing photos of a score (or a pianist using obvious unauthorized photocopies of a score), then the auditions chair will not allow the performance to proceed with those obviously infringing materials.  The intention of the NATS Copyright Policy is not to thrust audition chairs into an investigative role as copyright investigators.  The approach audition chairs should take is “If the infringement is obvious, performance cannot be allowed; if infringement is not obviously occurring and the performer tells NATS they are using an authorized copy, then NATS will not investigate further and performance will be allowed.”


Use of Tablets by Collaborative Pianists

  • The use of iPads and tablets as musical scores for collaborative pianists during all levels of NATS auditions has been approved and are held to the same standards of copyright as any other musical score used for auditions.
  • For clarification on appropriate use of tablets please visit the NATS Commonly Asked Copyright Questions for Teachers, Accompanists, and Students document located in the NATS Copyright Resource Center.
  • As long as the singer and pianist affirm that they are in compliance with the NATS Copyright Policy, the pianist may use a personal tablet to display a stored electronic version of sheet music.  However, obvious copyright infringement will not be allowed, and may result in disqualification from the competition.  Adjudicators are not copyright investigators.  This is solely the job of the auditions chairs. If auditions chairs see Obvious infringement (whether in digital or paper form), they are compelled to do something.
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