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               ~ Tunes and Copyright ~

 

 

Which songs and tunes are in the public domain?

 

Music published in the USA before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain,
and can be arranged and published without prior permission.
US copyright law and practice does not always agree with other foreign countries,
which has created some controversy on the internet.
Very helpful is this overview:   https://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm

 

Can you copyright public domain music?


Only an original arrangement, that actually prints on paper.
The underlying tune still remains in the public domain.
For example, you can take a piece of music paper, copy the melody line for "Kumbaya",
add your own harmony/chords, and put your name + copyright on the finished work.

 

 

 

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