The Holidays are a time for cheer, spiked eggnog, caroling, and great classic songs! With many celebrity musician's coming out with classic cover's and CD compilations like NOW releasing Holiday favorites, it has become a common and favorable venture for musicians world wide to do their rendition of these classic songs, preform them at gigs around the holidays, put them on an EP they may release around the New Year, and add their version to their website page.
However when being an independent musician it is important to be careful of what exactly you recreate without getting into a copyright infringement mess. Many classics are public domain but make sure that the version you are going has copyright date of 1922 or earlier for it be 100% public domain cleared. Here are some other facts about copyright and the public domain that are vital for us all to know!
In general, under the copyright law, the creator of the original expression in a work is its author. The author is also the owner of copyright unless there is a written agreement by which the author assigns the copyright to another person or entity, such as a publisher. Copyright Infringement happens when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner.
A work of authorship is in the “public domain” if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner.