What is Public Domain? | Questions and Answers

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What is Public Domain?

A look at Public Domain regarding music and the differences based on country location.

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by TaurusBeats (Taurus James)

Here's a great question, which can also be a difficult subject to follow. The term "Public Domain" makes it sound like anything in this category belongs to the public. But that's far from being true.

This is another one of those topics that has differences based on country location. So, you will have to dig deeper into your country's laws to get the best answer. Here's a starting point for those of you here in the United States.

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Works published in the United States with a copyright date of 1922 or earlier are in the the public domain.

Do not be fooled by the term "Public Domain"... it can be tricky. Just because a musical composition or arrangement may be in the proverbial public domain, does not mean that you automatically can use it willy nilly in your production without paying for it. You must be absolutely certain that the specific recording you are using is also in the public domain.

Chances are, that the recording you have selected is not in the public domain. Permission and proper clearance from the owners of this recording must be obtained.

Of course you are legally free to spend your own money and have any public domain musical composition arranged, performed and recorded. Then, you would be the proud owner of this particular master recording and everyone else would need your permission to use it.

Every musical composition owned and provided by American Music Company is without exception copyrighted and is not in the public domain.

Tags: Public Domain, public domain music, copyright, clearance

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What People Are Saying

Adolfo - USA

Man...All I can say is WOW!!! I can't believe what you have here! I am deeply moved by what you create and thank you so much for sharing! Awesome!

Andy D - UK

Taurus - ur stuff is the *ting* man i'm tellin ya. I also learned that your a drummer - me to! When I was a kid I used to play around with the piano/keyboard in the 80's/90's (26yr old now). But I can't read music - I play by ear, just like you. You hit the pads & keys, (i gotta mpd32 to!;) in the same manner as me - it flows. I reckon we can play steel drums - even tho we never have! or maybe you have - i don't know! I'm luvin your youtube flix - keep em comin dood. Peace bruv Andy D, birmingham UK.

Bosman Ragga - na

I like your beats too Taurus, and I look forward to learn 1 thing or 2 from your videos?

Marina Muravyeva - na

Hi Taurus, Thank you for your comment about "Silence. I like your "Heartwashed"! Very nice sound and music. Marina

Randy Lovett - na

Hey James, my name is Randy Lovett I first stumbled across your instrumentals late 2007 while working in Ohio. I just recently recieved an email for moody music and couldnt believe you were there. I couldnt remimber your name to get to your sight. i had been wanting to hear those instumentals all this time. Your tracks are very inspirational. Your are very talented. What are your greatest accomoplisments from your talent? Who have you been able to meet and work with? Hope to hear back soon, Peace...Randy
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