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Are MIDI files copyrighted?

If you are using MIDI files for copyrighted music, with Notation or any other music software, and those MIDI files were obtained without permissions from or payment to the copyright owner, then this might constitute a copyright violation. We encourage you to either pay for the permission to use such files, or to use only non-copyrighted songs.

If the MIDI file is for music that is in the public domain, and if the author of the MIDI file does not require a copyright for his/her MIDI arrangement of the public domain music, then you do not need to purchase a copyright of the MIDI file or music. If the MIDI file is one that you have purchased, then the party selling you the MIDI file is responsible for compensating any copyright owners of the MIDI file and/or music.

That said, a very large percentage of MIDI files that can be found on the Internet are for copyrighted music, for which the copyright owners are not being compensated. This is a gray area of copyright enforcement that is even less settled than that for MP3 files. We (Notation Software) do not have legal expertise in copyright issues and therefore cannot advise you about your obligations to music copyright owners for MIDI files that you convert to sheet music using Notation Software or any other products.