If a song is out of copyright, but has been re-scored for a movie, can it be used in an amateur video? I have searched multiple websites for a copyright of this particular score and cannot find one.

1 Answer 1


There are several copyrights to consider here:

  1. The copyright in the original composition. If this has expired then anyone is free to perform the work and record it for any purpose (a recording in which they will hold copyright).
  2. The copyright in the revised score. The composer/arranger holds the copyright (but it may transfer by contract to the movie producer). A person who wished to perform this arrangement would need the permission of the copyright holder.
  3. The copyright in the performance. The performer(s) own that (but it may transfer by contract to the movie producer) and you need their permission to play that recording.

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