This site applies only to the use of Public Domain works in the United States. Other countries have different laws about the Public Domain.




We guarantee that every song, story, play and poem listed in the books published by The BZ/Rights Stuff, Inc., is indeed and absolutely Public Domain in the United States. Every listing in these books has been checked and double-checked against every reliable source there is, including the U.S. Copyright Office.

Our newest ground-breaking book:

They Never Renewed:
Songs You Never Dreamed Were in the Public Domain

96 songs from the 50s and 60s. Songs in the Public Domain because their copyrights were never properly renewed — see detailed information on this book below.

3 more brand new books:

Great Literary Works in the Public Domain

Great Children’s Literature in the Public Domain

All Things Christmas in the Public Domain

Plus, our classic:

The Mini-Encyclopedia of Public Domain Songs
800 popular songs in the Public Domain due to expiration of copyright. Our first listing of Public Domain music which has been in print since 1993 and is a classic — widely known as a safe and reliable source.

Songs You Never Dreamed Were in the Public Domain

This is the information you've been looking for — recent popular songs from the 50s and 60s that are in the Public Domain. How is that possible? Their copyrights were never renewed! And you get the benefit of those mistakes.

You can use music from the 50s and 60s that made the Billboard Pop Charts for free — no one to pay, no one to ask permission from!

Almost anyone who uses music for any purpose ought to own this book, meaning anyone who uses or works with music, including advertising agencies, film and TV companies, entertainment companies of all kinds, attorneys, website owners, schools, or the many others who could profit by using or helping others use the music or lyrics it contains without having to pay a hefty fee!

The 96 songs we have unearthed after intensive research, and catalogued in this book, all made it onto the Billboard Pop Charts. And, according to the Search Division of the U.S. Copyright Office, they’re all in the Public Domain in the United States. Yet, not everyone knows it. In fact, few people do.

Sample Listing

Rockin’ Robin (1958) words and music by Jimmie Thomas, pseud. of Leon Rene.

Charted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top 40 Hits of 1958. Original artist: Bobby Day; covered by The Carroll Brothers, The Outsiders, The Hollies, Freddy Cannon, Michael Jackson, Livingston Taylor, Lolly, The Alley Cats, McFly, Randy and The Rockets, Re-Bops, Raggs Kids Club Band, Party People, Joanie Bartels, Stacy Buehler, Brownsville Station, Countdown Singers, The Hit Crew, Jeff the Drunk, Taj Mahal, Bob Luman, Tommy McLain, Moon Riders, The Muppets, Nine Below Zero, Jim Valley, Gene Vincent, Byran White, Yesterday's Today, The Rivieras, Sha Na Na, Del Shannon, Dee Dee Sharp, Sugar Beats, Tweenies.

Sheet music sold separately.

However, they’ve all been checked and double-checked. Many of them triple-checked. Our company, The BZ/Rights Stuff, Inc., publisher of The Mini-Encyclopedia of Public Domain Songs, has received a report from the Copyright Office concerning each of these songs. They tell us their report confirms that copyright has never been renewed on any of these songs. So, for those of you making a film or TV show, a TV or radio commercial or anything intended for corporate use, including for use on the Web ... and for all of you who, like so many of us nowadays are on a tight budget, this carefully researched reference work represents a chance to use a recognizable, likeable or even lovable melody to enliven and enhance your project — all free of cost!

How can this be? Because they are all in the Public Domain, these songs are yours to do with as you wish. Use the words! Change the music! Do anything you want with them! You do not need to get permission, or pay anyone anything. Because no one owns any of these songs.

And, why is this so important? Because, if or when a great piece of music comes to your attention, and you think or assume that it is PD when it absolutely IS NOT, and you then use it without permission — you’re infringing, ignoring or violating a copyright owned by someone else. And if you do this, either by accident or error, it could cost you, your company, or others you work with, (such as an employer or a client) a great deal of money.

That’s why there needs to be a really reliable reference work ready at hand on your bookshelf that tells you whether or not the piece of music that has caught your eye (or your ear) is safe for you to use, and quite probably profit from. Shouldn’t you order yours today?

Book $99.00

CD $99.00 (copy of book text — no music)

Book and CD $149.00


Contents: An introduction that alerts you as to how to correctly use the Public Domain information in the book, the book�s main listing � 96 songs written in the 50s and 60s that are in the Public Domain, a listing of the composers and their birth and death dates which are useful for determining copyright status in other countries, and a listing of the performers who sang the songs. Sheet music sold separately.

Special features:An audio link so you can hear the song.
Copies of the sheet music that were originally deposited at the Copyright Office .
Our assurance that this book is scrupulously researched and is backed by a report from the U.S. Copyright Office (which you can ask to see).

Note: Almost no recordings of this music are in the Public Domain

About the Authors:

Tom Nichols retired in 2006 after a 32-year career as a senior audiovisual librarian in three departments at the Library of Congress: the U.S. Copyright Office, the Special Materials Cataloging Division, and the Motion Pictures, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division. As a sideline, he has been one of the go-to people for trustworthy music research by many people and companies involved in the music business. He lives in Baltimore, Md.

The BZ/Rights Stuff Inc., publisher of this book, had a staff led by Barbara Zimmerman, working on this book. The BZ/Rights Stuff has previously published The Mini-Encyclopedia of Public Domain Songs. Barbara heads a rights clearance service called BZ/Rights & Permissions, Inc., which has been in business over 30 years clearing rights and providing expert advice on the Public Domain. Barbara lives in Manhattan (and loves it) with her family.

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