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Help: copyright help

20 Mar 01 - 12:29 PM (#421648)
Subject: copyright help
From: GUEST,Jules

What does copyright law say concerning the use of folk song lyrics? Are songs/lyrics published before a certain year considered public domain? I need to arrange some music for a keyboard class and would like to use familar music if possible.

20 Mar 01 - 03:02 PM (#421790)
Subject: RE: Help: copyright help
From: Gypsy

C'mon guys, i dinna have the memory! I believe that pre 1930 (unless it is 1920) is public domain. Unless, the copyright has been reupped. And there was word that the title would go for a longer period of time as of when?

20 Mar 01 - 03:18 PM (#421809)
Subject: RE: Help: copyright help
From: MMario

in the US the magic number at the moment is 1923. anything published in 1923 or prior is public domain.

21 Mar 01 - 12:39 PM (#422493)
Subject: RE: Help: copyright help
From: Mr Red

Folk song lyrics (trad) - UK law (by precedent) allows two words to change for copyright to be permitted. But not by any self respecting folkie. The problem is with everybody and Paul Simon at it, how do know it hasn't already been done?

21 Mar 01 - 01:41 PM (#422552)
Subject: RE: Help: copyright help
From: mousethief

This is why you should always change the words any time you sing a folk song. That way you can claim it was your own "version" and not somebody else's, and thus can't be bagged for copyright violation.

It used to be that "the folk process" was due to misremembering and illiteracy. Now it's due to arcane copyright laws. Whatever works.