Why it’s so hard to find public domain sound recordings

For those of you who are interested in music & copyright issues… check out this page which explains how there are virtually NO public domain music recordings in the USA, including stuff recorded at the very dawn of recording technology. Even recordings that ARE in the public domain in other countries are not PD in the USA.


There are some notable exceptions, the creepiest of which might be theĀ Jonestown Death Tape (FBI No. Q 042.)

One Response to “Why it’s so hard to find public domain sound recordings”

  1. Ariel X says:

    The reason for this is the exploitation of copyright law here in the US; the palms of Congress have often been greased by copyright holders, which most often turn out to be–surprise, surprise–the Big Boys, the megamedia conglomerates, the corporations that own the rights to most artists’ works. What should have passed into the public domain long ago, for the enrichment and furtherance of our culture, remains under lock and key by implementation of laws that serve the already self-serving; the large portion of works that should have slipped into the public domain are held back from doing so for the benefit of the very few works that still make big money for the likes of Disney, Universal, Sony, et. al. An excellent book on this topic, if you’re interested–and as an artist and creator of content, you should be!–is “Free Culture” by Lawrence Lessig. And just for the record, by “free culture” he means free as in expression, not as in beer. An excellent read, highly recommended.

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