PUBLIC DOMAIN refers to works that are not protected by copyrights.
Concerning the exchange of sheet music :
-If it is work in the public domain that you have personally written on paper, or if it is one of your own compositions, we encourage you to give a copy to anyone you choose, since the work is in the public domain, or is your personal property.
- In contrast, you will be in violation of the site rules if you exchange a photocopy of a copyrighted published print version of a work, even if the work itself is in the public domain, because in this case you are robbing the editor/publisher of his/her just compensation. If you give away a photocopy of the work of a living composer’s printed work, you are robbing two people... the composer and the publisher.
To take a concrete example:
-If you have a facsimile of an original Bach prelude that you have copied by hand or by computer... no problem... you are not harming Bach who died more than 70 years ago, or a publisher.
-In contrast, if you purchase a printed version of the same Bach prelude and give away a photocopy to someone, you are stealing from the publisher, who is entitled to remuneration for his/her efforts...
We encourage the following:
- Purchase the sheet music with others.
- Lend, exchange or resell the original copy of your sheet music.
- Donate your sheet music to a library or other publicly shared archive.
:( + ♫ = :)