public domain

Music Copyrights: Short, Sweet, and Simple - Part 2

Music Copyrights: Short, Sweet, and Simple - Part 2

Public Domain

In Part 1, we discussed that music works created before 1923 are now classified as being in the public domain. That classification applies only under U.S. copyright law. When works fall into this classification, the public is free to use these music works. But there are some caveats to consider. The public domain is an evolving universe of creative works. To clarify, although music created before 1923 is in fact in the public domain, the distinction is only the original music has gone into the public domain. When a new musical work is created from a pre-existing musical work, a new copyright is created, also known as a derivative copyright, As a result, arrangements of original music that is in the public domain, may not have gone into the public domain. So any musical arrangement made after 1923 would still enjoy copyright protection applying the applicable copyright rules….