So you've scoured the internets in search of music recordings in the Public Domain and found bupkis...
If only someone would have gone out and found all of the decent Public Domain recordings and collected them in one spot! If only.
Yes, it was a joy trying to slog through 45,000 Public Domain sermons to find some of this stuff. At some point it was easier just to write new music.
Download everything here for $14!*
FreePD Complete Collection - Over 700 individual mp3 files in three big zip files.
Updated March 2016
- Can I use this in my project?
- Do I have to credit anyone?
- Can I resell these on another site?
- Yes. Such is the beauty of Public Domain.
- Can I claim ownership of these?
- You can claim it... but it won't be true. You can also claim that you're a dolphin.
I have made every effort to make sure that everything here is in the Public Domain. Most every item has a source listed if you would like to re-research the source of the recording.
I am not a lawyer. Please use your own judgment.
Yes, I am aware that some of this music is terrible. It is included because sometimes you need terrible music.
About the Public Domain
The Public Domain is a category of intellectual property where absolutely no rights are asserted. The likeness of the Sistine Chapel, Stonehenge, and the pyramids in Egypt - the music of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven - the writings of Shakespeare, Swift, and Dickens - all of these can be used and built on, owing nothing to the originator (who is now long since dead).
"Culture is impossible without a rich Public Domain. Nothing today, likely nothing since we tamed fire, is genuinely new: Culture, like science and technology, grows by accretion, each new creator building on the works of those who came before. Overprotection stifles the very creative forces it's supposed to nurture."
- Alex Kozinski [Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals]
Sound recordings in the Public Domain are very very difficult to find. The copyright laws have changed drastically in the last 40 years, making virtually every sound ever recorded remain under copyright. The copyrights will (in theory) begin to expire, but not soon.
It seems that the only hope of building a Public Domain of recorded sound works is to do so explicitly. Waiting for the expiration of copyrights will not work.
There are people who are willing to give up all of their rights to new recordings, and place them in the Public Domain.
I made this site to collect and distribute as many quality new recordings that have been placed into the Public Domain as possible.