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Copyright: Public Domain
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Joined: 13/10/2012 19:51:56
Messages: 61
Location: United States

"Works in the public domain are those whose intellectual property rights have expired, been forfeited, or are inapplicable" ("Public domain," Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia) .

Music is in the public domain as with any other work in the public domain if
- all rights have expired or
- the authors have explicitly put a work into the public domain
- there never were copyrights

Info on public domain from Univ. of Cali. -

Music that entered the public domain was generally, but not necessarily composed before January 1, 1923 (as of the year 2012).

How long does copyright on a work last until it enters the public domain (in the U.S.)?

The term of copyright for a particular work depends on several factors, including whether it has been published, and, if so, the date of first publication. As a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first. For works first published prior to 1978, the term will vary depending on several factors. To determine the length of copyright protection for a particular work, consult chapter 3 of the Copyright Act (title 17 of the United States Code). More information on the term of copyright can be found in Circular 15a, Duration of Copyright, and Circular 1, Copyright Basics. - from
- See this chart for more info:

Remember: If an artist records a public domain composition, the artist is granted a copyright to the recording. You can't use their recording without permission. But if you have the score to the composition, that is in the public domain, you can record your own interpretation of the composition.

More info on the public domain:
- Flowchart:
- University of California:
- Wikipedia:
- Wikipedia:

(Quick note: I don't personally like Wikipedia for research, but I do like how you can find links to more indepth articles from around the web.)

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 06/11/2012 02:23:27

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