Hi guys, Matt here. I'm working on a second course. Just wondered if anyone knows if I can play small samples of someone else's music to demonstrate certain techniques, ie using a reference track to make your track?
I have studied this issue in detail. It is very complicated and not easily explained in a short message. What I do want to point to however is that there is the Fair Use Act (in the US) which does allow reasonable non-commercial use of music and video. Reviewers make use of this act to be able to show scenes of a movie that they are reviewing. However, the line between fair use and unfair use is very fuzzy, so it is best to try to avoid the use of someone's intellectual property altogether. You do not want to win a court battle. You want to avoid it.
I'm a professional songwriter so happy to answer this one. Since you are selling your course for financial gain, you need the permission of the copyright owner. Educational use is generally accepted but it's a bit of a tough question in relation to online courses rather than school settings.