The copyright o a musical composition lasts until 70 years after the death of the composer. Henceforth, the work becomes part of the “Public Domain”, which means that it belongs to the people, to everyone and no one in particular.
Copyright constitute two conceptions of literary and artistic property. The first comes from the family of continental law, particularly from French law, while the second comes from Anglo-Saxon law (or common law).
Copyright is based on the idea of a personal right of the author, based on a form of identity between the author and his creation. The moral right is constituted as an emanation of the author's person: he recognizes that the work is an expression of the author's person and thus is protected.
The protection of copyright is strictly limited to the work, without considering the moral attributes of the author in relation to his work, except paternity; he does not consider it as a proper author, but he has rights that determine the modalities of using a work.
According to the Berne Convention, most of the works must be protected during the author's lifetime and not less than 50 years after his death. In most countries, this term of protection has been prolonged up to 70-90 years after the death of the author.
The link with the prolongation of the author's life places unequal authors and long-dead authors at an early age.
The first works of the authors can be under protection up to approximately 150 years (depending on the author's life term), while the later works, approximately 70 years after the author's death.
Patents are granted only for a term of 20-25 years, while copyright are protected throughout life and some 70 years after the death of the author. This fact puts inventors and engineers in unequal conditions compared to authors protected by copyright.
For this reason, no one can claim the payment in the form of author’s royalties for using the music of Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky or any of the classical works, or for more modern works that have surpassed 70 years after the author’s decease (as is the case with some of George Gershwin’s works, for instance).
Does this mean that anyone can take a Mozart CD and use it in their video?
No! The key is in the recording itself.
There are 2 inherent rights in any audio recording: The author’s rights to the composition and the author’s rights to the recording. This is precisely the heart of the matter. No one has a copyright to a public domain work, however, anyone who decides to invest time and money to perform a work and record it on a certain format or platform (digital, CD, DVD, etc) will have the author’s rights over that recording, as well as the musicians that perform that work, the arranger who has done the adaptation, and in some countries even the engineer who has mixed the recording of the performance of this musical work.
That is why freeaudiolibrary among other online websites sells music as royalty free, but in reality it is free of synchronization and reproduction rights.
Therefore, if you decide to wake up tomorrow and start playing “For Elisa” by Beethoven and record it on CD, YOU will be the owner of that recording and will be able to claim copyrights over any and every use made of this recording. Of course, you will only have rights over the recording, since the author has been dead for well over 70 years and his works since then have passed on to the public domain.
The possibility of claiming rights payments (royalties?) for the recording of public domain works, is what makes record companies invest money into the recording and production of classical music recordings for commercial use. This also allows companies such as FREEAUDIOLIBRARY to earn revenue through the sale of usage licenses for music recordings used in audiovisual projects.
Currently, the recording rights around most of the world expire after 50 years since the recording publishing. However, in areas such as the European Union there are laws in process -to be implemented in the near future- which will increase the protection period up to 70 years, as is the case with author’s rights. Nonetheless, despite the 50-year period, the recording rights can easily be renewed or updated and it is actually the norm to do this in the record industry. An example would be to reedit the original master. Since it’s a new format and a new “remastered” recording, the recording rights period is set to zero again.
Before using a classical piece of any sort, first make sure to find out who the owner of the recording is before using it for any video or audiovisual project; also make sure you have legal permission and/or license to use it in order to avoid problems, unpleasant surprises or unnecessary headaches in the future.
At Freeaudiolibrary we have an extensive catalogue of royalty-free classical music. As we’ve mentioned before, these are public domain works but we own the performance rights of these works through the orchestras that have performed the pieces.
You will find works by Bach, Vivaldi, Albinoni, Heandel and other composers of pieces performed in the Baroque classical musical style. We also have original works available in this style, written by other authors.
If you are interested in classical music, please browse our CLASSICAL section, where you can also find works by Tchaikovsky, Griboedov, Grieg, Beethoven, or Rossini, among others.
In our website you will find classical music divided into three sections.
Medieval music, or old music, music or sacra or popular of the Middle Ages.
Baroque music, generally orchestral that includes from the 100 to the 1750.
And classical music itself. Music from 1750 to our time.
Royalty free music is an economical solution that allows you to legally add music with exceptional sound for your project.
If the music has been registered in a management entity (SGAE, BMI, ASCAP ...) then it is not free of rights and will have to pay the copyright. Most of the companies that pretend to sell music free of rights are not really, many times the payment of the purchase will have to pay the copyright.
Freeaudiolibrary we are a company specialized in the sale of music of libraries free of copyright. We have a great music catalog for all kinds of soundtracks, epic songs, suspense songs, intrigue.
Here you will find a large number of material to create your film productions, TV, or videos.
Our website is perfectly categorized so you can find the piece of music you need quickly and easily.
Likewise, all freeaudiolibrary music library has included in the own price of the track a unique indefinite license that will allow its use regardless of the commercial or geographical purpose of the audiovisual project in which it is integrated. We also have music free to download.
Who we are?
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