Royalty Free Music > Public Domain Music > Royalty Free Music and the Public Domain
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While sometimes pieces Public Domain music and royalty free music may overlap, they are by no means the same thing. Because of the complexity of Copyright Law when it comes to recordings, you can expect that most recorded pieces of music in their original format, even if a royalty free music version of the song exists, are not in the Public Domain.
Many people confuse royalty free music with Public domain music because of one of the synonyms of royalty free - copyright free. Copyright free is somewhat of a misnomer, because it does not mean that there is no copyright at all; the term simply means that you pay to satisfy the copyright upfront. As with royalty free music , you buy albums or tracks for one fixed price and can use the music in perpetuity for a lifetime. Other so-called "license free" terms can also be confusing if the company providing the music is not reputable. Often disreputable royalty free music companies do not spell out the terms of the rights you are buying. Royalty Free Music.com offers a clear explanation of its license and terms so that no one is ever confused about the limitations of the purchased music.
In short, Public Domain is not inextricably linked to royalty free music, in part due to the many components of copyright law, which continues to change as technology advances and makes recorded music more easily accessible to the public. Just because there is a royalty free version of a popular song does not mean that the original recording or the song itself is in the Public Domain. Thanks to many additions to Copyright Law, even in the past ten years, recorded music has gained a higher level of protection against illegal free sharing. Anyone looking to determine if a piece is Public Domain music can be fairly certain that if the original has its basis in the recording industry, it is not free of copyright fees.