Music copyright refers to the extended rights that are granted to the composer or writer of an original song, ditty, track, tune or bed.
It is a legal device that affords the owner the right to copy, distribute, adapt and sell that music.
With the odd exception, any music composed over the last 70 years will be under copyright.
If a composer died more than 70 years ago however, then the musical work is no longer in copyright.
This means, if you want to use a piece by Bach, Mozart or Beethoven, for example, with a TV show, feature film, commercial or corporate, you don't need a synchronization licence.
In Australia, sound recording copyright lasts for 70 years after the music is first released and, in what is a very complicated area, different types of music require different rights.
A summary of these rights can be found here.
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