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Copyright question

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Sam Lesante Jr.Copyright question
by on Dec 23, 2009 at 8:49:57 pm

I want to post a performance on my Facebook fan page. However the only music you hear is "On The Good Ship Lollipop"

So, I wanted to know if this song by Shirley Temple is still copyrighted.

Also, is there a website that can answer this?

Happy Holidays

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Todd TerryRe: Copyright question
by on Dec 23, 2009 at 9:43:33 pm

[Sam Lesante Jr.] "I wanted to know if this song by Shirley Temple is still copyrighted."


Public domain music is any piece of music composed before (or an arrangement created before) 1922.

"On the Good Ship Lollipop" was written after that, in the 1930s.

Even if a piece of music is thought to be in the public domain, you still have to be very careful. Public Domain status applies only to the original composition. Any arrangements of the piece that were created by that time are still protected.

And of course, this applies only to the published score (the "sheet music," as it were). Any recordings/performances of the piece also have their own copyright protection, regardless of whether it is in the public domain or not. For example, while a Beethoven symphony is obviously in the public domain, the recording you might have of the London Philharmonic performing it is not.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Copyright question
by on Dec 24, 2009 at 9:12:36 pm

That sucks. But it is the law. What we need to do is get the law changed: get mad and write your congressperson that this situation is barbaric and archaic and we need a new solution that's legal and fair.

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