Knowledge Base Article: KB2421
Topic: FAQ - Content-Related Questions, Genre, Style, Public Domain, and Soundalike Issues

Title: Is George Gershwin's song "Rhapsody in Blue" a public domain composition?

Last Reviewed: Feb 14, 2014

Q.  Is George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" a public domain song?

A.  Yes, in some places, but not everywhere.  The song was originally published in 1924, and originally had a copyright period of 75 years.  However, due to the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, this was extended to 95 years.  Hence...

1. In the USA it is in copyright until 2019 (i.e. 1924 + 95 = 2019).

2. Outside the US, it is determined by the copyright law of each individual country wherein you may wish to use the work.  Proceed at your own caution.

We have only a shortened piano version of the song online here which may be used outside the USA.  Internet use is prohibited (unless you geo-gate your website to restrict it to eligible territories only) and use within the US is prohibited until January 1, 2019:

Because of the restriction on use in the USA, Internet licensing as well as any other uses in the USA is prohibited unless you first clear the publishing rights with publisher of record:

New World Music Company (LTD)
c/o Warner Chappell Music Inc
10585 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025 US
Phone: (310) 441-8600

Additional Gershwin Songs With a Similar Status

  • An American in Paris


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