Does copyright on a sound recording expire?

You may have dodged a bullet with your very own get out of jail free card 🧠

Here at RouteNote, we know that working out whether the copyright on a sound recording has expired can be difficult! Different countries have different rules on when something is old enough for its copyright to expire. These rules often change in confusing ways, too; recordings under British copyright made in 1962 have a completely different set of rules about them to those made a year later in 1963, for example.

Copyright on compositions is different to the copyright on recordings.

If you’ve done your research and are confident that the copyright on the recording you’ve sampled has expired, then send an email over to with the following information:

  • a link to where you downloaded it
  • a link to whatever information proves it is in the public domain
  • your username
  • the UPC of the release

If you have any further queries, feel free to get in touch with us!

See more:
Can I sample a copyright exempt recording?
Will Content ID be blocked on my release if I use samples?
What is copyright? 

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