If a song’s music and lyrics were published before 1928, the song is in the public domain and does not require licensing (permission from the copyright owner) for any use. However, even songs in the public domain need to be licensed if you are playing from a copyrighted sheet music arrangement. There is a lot of confusion over what is and is not in the public domain (free to use without permission). It is very important that you do the proper research to know - not guess - the public domain status of the song. Check out the public domain challenge below to see what we’re talking about. Did you score 100% on the first try? If not, consider getting help to determine the public domain status of your song. Not sure of the public domain status of your song? Let us do free copyright research for you. If the song is in the public domain, we will confirm this. If not, we will help you clear the permission you need.