Music and lyrics published in 1922 or earlier are in the Public Domain in the United States. No one can claim ownership of a song in the public domain, therefore public domain songs may be used by anyone. Music recordings, however, are copyright protected separately from musical compositions. There are no sound recordings in the Public Domain in the USA. If you need a music recording - even a recording of a public domain song - you will either have to record it yourself or license a Royalty Free Music recording.

The proof that a musical work is in the Public Domain in the USA is any sheet music publication with a copyright date of 1922 or earlier. We are pleased to provide a copy of any PD sheet music in our library at our reproduction cost. You will find a large selection of PD Sheet Music Reprints with complete original copyright information in our Sheet Music Section. If you need sound recordings for commercial use, you can easily license any of our large selection of Royalty Free Music tracks.

IMPORTANT: All public domain information on this site is based on USA copyright law. Countries other than the US may offer copyright protection for 70 years or more after the death of the author. There is no such thing as an "international copyright". You must research and comply with the copyright laws of each separate country where you use music or lyrics.

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