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Frequently Asked Questions

About the Public Domain Project

What is the Public Domain Project?

What means public domain?

Public domain is a legal status and it is the contrary of copyrighted wikipedia:publicdomain.

This means that you can do what you want without any reserves with a work that is public domain.

When is a work public domain?

Short answer: Any work which is out of copyright protection scope:

  • 70 years after authors lifetime
  • 50 years after producers rights
  • Creative Commons "by"-licence

Long answer:

  • This is a long answer about public domain sound recordings in US law by the public domain sherpa
  • This is a development effort to determine the public domain status by a calcualator: Okfn Public Domain Calculators, there you find also flowcharts for some countries representing the law of this country.

For the public domain project we keep it simply and stick to the simple rules in the short version. This represents or outrange the law of most countries.

Who is behind the Project?

We have a separate page where we list our partners and sponsors

How is the project legally organised?

The Swiss Foundation Public Domain is a cultural foundation which specializes in the conservation of rare recordings (music and video material) and is the legal owner/operator of the public domain project.

I think the file/recording ??? is still copyrighted. Who should I contact?

Please contact directly the Swiss Foundation Public Domain, P.O. Box 52, CH-8126 Zumikon, Switzerland.

About the Radio

Where can I download the music played in the Radio? I can't find it!

At the moment (Fall 2010) most of our records we play in the radio are only available as medium quality MP3 files. That's enough for a radio but not for our archive. We have to digitalise this tracks first in high quality and as lossless flac format before we make them available.

Do I need a special player/software to listen to your radio?

Can I listen the public domain radio on my mobile?

Can I listen the public domain radio on my stereo?

Yes, either connect your PCs sound output to your stereo or use one of numerous streaming clients available.

If you have a stereo with the nicest high-end components we would suggest that you download the flac files instead of listening to the radio to get the best quality and the biggest dynamic range possible. For high-end enthusiasts are also well-made streaming clients available supporting our radio and flac files, for example the Transporter from Logitech or the Sonos multi-room systems.

About the Music Pool

What is ogg or flac?

wikipedia:flac Detailed description at the flac project homepage

How do I play a ogg flac file?

using flac

iTunes does not play your files. What should I do?

What I'm aloud to do with the music files

I have a lot of shellac/vinyl recordings in my basement. How can I help you?

Who owns the music in the pool?

Nobody and everyone. All our music files are public domain this means that it is legally similar to the air around you, nobody owns it and everybody is allowed to use it.

I would like to license your music. How I do this?

You don't have to. Because all our music files in our pool are public domain you can use it without asking anyone for everything.

About the Wiki

I found a spelling error, who should I inform?

Nobody! That's the nice thing about a wiki everybody can write and edit articles and can help to improve and correct them! So if you found a simple spelling error, just click on the edit button and correct it yourself. We thank you for your help improving our database.

How to correct add information

Where can I find help editing articles

Try our Help section. If you don't find an answer there, write it to the discussion page of the help section.