SURVEY OF COPYRIGHT
- Any work first published before 1923 is in the public domain (PD).
- Any work first published from 1923 to 1977 is subject to a 95-year term of copyright.
- Any work first published 1978 and later is subject to a term of life of the last surviving author plus 70 years.
- A work is in the public domain if the last surviving author/editor/librettist has been dead for over 50 years.
- In Canada only, a work first published after the death of the last surviving author/editor/librettist may be copyrighted for up to 50 years after the date of first publication.
- A work is in the public domain if the last surviving author/editor/librettist has been dead for over 70 years.
- However, in France, protection of musical works enjoys special time extension compensating for the war period (WWI and WWII). For composers who died before January 1, 1995, the time protection after death is 78 years and 120 days for works published between January 1, 1921 and December 31, 1947 and 84 years and 272 days for works published until December 31, 1920. This is why none of Ravel’s work is public domain in France while it is so in many European countries.
- A work first published after the death of the last surviving author/editor/librettist is subject to copyright protection of at least 25 years after first publication.
- In Canada, "Scientific" or "Urtext" editions (where the editor(s) made no significant contributions in an effort to replicate the author's intentions) receive no copyright protection. However,
- In the EU, Urtext editions get up to 30 years of copyright protection after publication.
- In the US, Urtext editions are theoretically protected like any other work. However, many have come into the public domain due to failure to renew, give proper notice, etc.