Copyright has crept from 42 years in 1909 to a possible 190 in 2010.
Imagine is the 1909 copyright extension act had never passed. Copyright would be for a total maximum of 42 years (28 years then 14 more as an extension). The following songs would be out of copyright right now.
Once a work is out of copyright, it is in the public domain. That means anyone can use it in anything–documentaries, tv shows, school plays, fanvids, commercials, school dances, anything.
- “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry
- “Turn, Turn, Turn” by Pete Seeger
- “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley
- “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan
- “Rock Around The Clock” by Bill Haley & His Comets
- “If I Had A Hammer” by Lee Hays and Pete Seeger
- “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley
- “With God on Our Side” by Bob Dylan
- “I’ve Got A Woman” by Ray Charles
- “Blue Moon” by Elvis Presley
- “Tutti-Frutti” by Little Richard
- “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two
- “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley
- “Georgia On My Mind” by Ray Charles
- “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me” by Miracles
*I got many of the dates from here. Simply, any recording made before 1968 would be out of copyright if copyright was 42 years in 2010.