| This page is part of the Copyright section for CPDL. |
See individual pages for details and conditions.
The term Public Domain when used on CPDL, generally indicates that the individual who contributed the work believes the work is free of restrictions under Copyright law. For example, a work may be in the public domain if the copyright of the work has expired, or if the copyright holder (e.g. composer, editor, transcriber or contributor) has released the work into the public domain.
If a work of music is in the public domain, the music and any score file(s) in the public domain may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and in any way, including by methods that have not yet been invented or conceived. However, the theory of moral rights nonetheless protects the original creator of a work against having another misappropriate credit for the creator's intellectual work. Additionally, it is worth noting that creative changes an editor may add to their own score edition of a work in the public domain may in some cases still be protected under copyright even if the copyright of the original work the score is based on has lapsed. For example, though Bach's B Minor Mass is itself in the public domain, the Barenreiter edition of that particular public domain piece of music would not be in the public domain.
See Help:When does music enter the public domain? for more information.