The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168760   Message #4076314
Posted By: EBarnacle
21-Oct-20 - 01:54 PM
Thread Name: Tom Lehrer lyrics to public domain
Subject: RE: Tom Lehrer lyrics to public domain
A fuller statement. Remember, though this is only good through 2024.

Tom Lehrer's Bequest

No, don’t worry. He’s still here. But, at 92, that is not likely to remain the case indefinitely, so the renowned mathematician, pianist, lyricist, satirist and pigeon poisoner has decided to take care of a few housekeeping details.

As of this afternoon, the professor has formally and officially released all of his musical works into the public domain. This deeding appears to include the sound recordings of his compositions, which he has posted, free for you to download, on the website

The compositions include the original selections from "Songs by Tom Lehrer," noted as the single most profitable and recouped record of all time, recorded for a total cost of fifteen bucks in a bare bones “record your voice” studio and eventually selling millions.

Under the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1988, Lehrer’s compositions would have remained the property of his heirs and assigns for 120 years from creation or 70 years after his passing. Lehrer’s donation to the public domain of his copyrights allows anyone to use his compositions for any purpose immediately.

It should be noted that Professor Lehrer’s largesse is not quite unlimited, and his site contains the warning that recordings and lyrics will be downloadable only until the year 2024. Something to light a fire under you procrastinators.

I understand few people are, like me, actually googling the professor every couple of weeks to make sure he still walks among us, so the news of his gift may have escaped notice.