Can I Register an Arrangement of a Public Domain Song?

You certainly can; just make sure its copyright has actually expired.

While you’re free to add fresh arrangements of public domain songs to your Songtrust account, it’s important to confirm the original work’s copyright expired or its author(s) explicitly put it into the public domain beforehand. For instance, “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Christmas track you could tweak and register as an arranger, not the composer or author.  

One important note: Most Performing Rights Organizations (PROs) collect and share performance royalties at a reduced rate when they’re unique arrangements of public domain works.

 

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