50 000 recordings from Boston Public Library


If you need some old tunes to use in sonic pi, you have the choice



NICE! thanks!
What are the copyrights of those records?
they write that they have recordings of wax cylinders, amazing.

Many listings on archive.org are notorious for not having clear license information… I had a look at a few of these but couldn’t easily tell either :confused:

Ok boomers :slight_smile: Who cares in 2021 !

Make a hit with these samples and then if there are rights you will be contacted by lawyers to make you spit the money

First it was not my intention to promote an probably illegal source.

I have no idea about the rights. But i think that as the Boston Public Library is not anybody, they have thought about this point.

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According to this site copyright for sound recordings in the US is a tangled mess. So, it is unlikely that they would be public domain if you are in the US.

However, all of these works seem to be over 70 years old. If you are in the UK or Europe, this is the copyright length for sound recordings (source for the UK).

Here’s a helpful quote from a British legal resource on the topic.

Where work is created outside of the EEA and the author is not a national of an EEA state, the laws relating to the country in which the work was created will apply as long as such laws do not exceed the periods set out above.

The rule above is commonly known as the rule of the shorter term. If you click through to that article you will see that it is followed by many, but not all, countries.

Hope that’s helpful :slight_smile:

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I don’t think listening breaks any rules, but I might be wrong. If you look at this summary of the Berne Convention, which is the framework used for most international copyright law, there are certain rights that are exclusive for a rights holder. However, none of these rights are ‘listening’. There might be some nuance I’m not getting, but my understanding is that if you listen to a copyrighted song on archive.org then archive.org would be the potential rights infringer in this situation.

That being said, if you check out the source for my second quote or the Wikipedia page on the rule of the shorter term for more info you will find that whether or not a material counts as copyright depends on the country where that material is being used.

Not that I’m telling you not to use copyrighted material if you want. As you said, you can just use it and deal with the consequences if they come up.

I just wanted to give some resource for anyone who was concerned about it.


Thanks for this. The copyright issue seems intractable for the little person’s point of view.

You might be interested in this ‘Citizen DJ’ project from the Library of Congress where it seems he’s picked only materials that are specifically free to use. The website is set up to make/scratch samples from these, but you can get to the source audio too.

On this site is also page is a guide to other materials:

For instance from this page Citizen DJ / Inventing EntertainmentThe works in this collection have been identified to be in the public domain and are free to use and reuse without restriction. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the works, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. Attribution is recommended but not required.

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Cool ressource ! Thanks
ps : Can you make its own post to referer easily ?

You can use the bookmark feature to bookmark individual posts in a topic too :man_shrugging: :slight_smile:
(Ah, though I see what you mean - easier for new visitors :+1: )

yep “shrugging man” (i learn a new word to shrug “hausser les épaules”) but it’s not the best practice i would recommand right ?

Yeah, a separate topic does sound like a great addition. How about it @soxsa? :slight_smile:

It is done :smiley:

euh sorry in which category ? Support, Help & Ressources ? as i am not Patreon, i can’t see all posts :wink:

Here’s my chance: “have you tried searching?” :smile:

It’s in Creation and Ideas, and here is a link

Yep sorry :slight_smile:
“Du coup”, i change the category of my initial post. “Creation & ideas” is more appropriate