Moonstone Music

Musings on music composition, walks in the woods, and life after the big city.

Location: Moonstone, Ontario, Canada

I'm a music composer, clarinetist, writer, podcaster, environmentalist and warrior against the terrors of everyday living!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Public Domain

This question of public domain is really bugging me. I’ve been looking for some text which I could set to music, and I read on the web of another composer who’d gotten as far as getting a CD out when he discovered someone had bought the rights to the long dead author’s works and he couldn’t release the CD without going through a lot of legal work with the new owner. Now of course I don’t know the whole story, and maybe the fact of the new ownership was readily apparent. But it’s scary to think about using something that has been in public domain and somehow is no longer. The whole shrinking of the public domain, the overwhelming predominance of long-dead “master” composers, the lack of support for developing new music – it’s all pretty depressing.

So we went for another walk in the snow to ponder the whole thing.


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