[Dixielandjazz] Re: Public Domain (was BMI licensing)

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Tue Mar 30 08:51:55 PST 2004

Dear Will,
Regarding your advice: >Songs enter public domain when their copyright
protection ends. In the US, currently, that's 75 years after the death of
the composer.<
Year 2003 minus 75 years = 1928.
Who has a list of all the popular song composers who died prior to that
milestone year? 
OK. Scott Joplin, Jim Europe and...................?
That means we have quite a few years to go before we can safely play songs
by the ODJB (LaRocca 1961, Shields 1953, Edwards 1963), King Oliver 1938,
Lil Hardin-Armstrong 1971, Jelly Roll Morton 1941, Elmer Schoebel 1970,
George/Ira Gershwin 1937/1983, Cole Porter 1964, Ellington 1974, Fats Waller
1943, Andy Razaf 1973, et al, with impunity. And even a Will Connelly rag or
And what if someone in the family (or a publisher) decides to extend the
copyright just prior to the expiry of the 75 year period?
Do BMI, ASCAP and the other carrions-eaters of the music world keep a handy
reference 'death list' of their composer-customers?
PD still seems like a limited-option minefield to me.
Very kind regards,

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