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Public Domain Christmas Songs Question

Laura asks…

Is this public domain?

I am doing a play where we would like to have christmas music sung during the intermission. The cast will be busy doing scene changes etc, so we thought about prerecording them singing carols. Do we have to get permission to do this from someone, or do we have to note it in the program for copyright purposes?
Not sure how to handle this properly. Are some songs public domain (like old carols) and others not (like White Christmas)?

scottparat answers:

If the music is copyrighted, you need permission. You don’t need permission for this recording (YOU own that copyright) but rather for the music.

Many carols are public domain. Congress recently extended US copyrights to 90 years. (Thanks to big liberal Media lobbying/bribing them) Anything older than that is public domain, and you’re free to use it.

Some songs less than 90 years old may be available as the copyright was not renewed, but that’s not likely for a popular song.

Steven asks…

what are some christmas songs/pieces that are public domain?

scottparat answers:

We wish you a merry Xmas, jingle bells.

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