What is public domain?
Music that falls into the public domain are those creations which are no longer subject to copyright law.
A song can be considered public domain for different reasons:
- All the copyright holders have decided to cede their rights
- The original publishing date of the composition makes the music ineligible for copyright protection
- The original copyright has expired
Each country determines what falls under public domain and its rights, you can check here all the details about copyright duration in each country.
In the US, musical compositions published before 1927 are considered public domain. If the composition has been published after 1927 it will become public domain 70 years after the composer’s death.
What to consider when distributing with Amuse
If a song falls under the public domain, you won’t need a license or permission from the copyright holders to publish it. However, you first should be sure it is indeed in the public domain. Even if the composition is in the public domain the sound recording might still be under copyright. It is important to research first before assuming a song is in the public domain just because it is old.