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I want to put together a music book, based on old church hymns…

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I want to put together...
I want to put together a music book, based on old church hymns that are hard to find in the newer hymnals. Am I legally allowed to just copy the pages I want and include them in my book?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Intellectual Property Law
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6/23/2010
IP Lawyer: Law Professor, Law Professor replied 8 years ago
Law Professor
Law Professor, Law Professor
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,105
Experience: Professor of Law at Top-Tier Law School, specializing in patent & copyright
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It all depends on when the original hymns were written, and whether the ones you are copying have been modified by someone else. If the originals are old enough, they would no longer be under copyright, so you could take them. But if the hymn you are copying was (say) re-arranged in 1985 by someone, then you can take the old version but you cannot take the re-arranged version.

 

If you can figure out dates, the below chart will tell you exactly what is and what is not stilll under copyright.

 

http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/resources/docs/copyrightterm.pdf

 

Good luck. Hope that helps.

 

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