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I've Written Some Sheet Music. How Can I Put It In The Public Domain?

You’ve just completed a masterpiece and want to put your new sheet music into the public domain so that everyone can use it.  First, congratulations on completing your composition.  Now that the hard part is over, here is a step by step approach for donating your music into the public domain.  Note:  There is no official form or documentation requirements for creating public domain sheet music, however, the approach detailed below is the common practice.


Step #1:  The first thing you need to do is to publish your work.  While this sounds complicated, all it really means is that you make at least one copy of it available to the general public in sheet music form.  One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to post it online.  When you post your sheet music, be sure to include your name, the date, and the title of the piece.


Step #2:  Next, you will need to make your intentions of donating your music into the public domain known to those who might want to use your music.  The easiest way to do this is to place a sentence or two at the top or bottom of your sheet music stating that you knowingly donate this particular piece of music into the public domain.  Here is an example piece of text that you could use:  “The dedicator fully understands and relinquishes all rights to this piece of work, including relinquishment of all copyrights.”


Step #3:  You’ve completed the process to donate your work into the public domain.  Just remember that once you create a work as public domain sheet music, you can never gain those rights to that work back again.