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Classical Music/"Ain't Misbehaving" : Public or Private Domain


I was under the impression that Louis Armstrong's rendition of this song was in the public domain, however having tried to upload a video containing this song twice, both uploads were rejected on the grounds that the song was not in the public domain. Could I ask the current status of the song.

Hello Harry,

Generally, or possibly specifically, music written before 1923 is in the public domain and I am talking about sheet music.  Recordings of songs are not public domain in the United States until possibly 2067, I think.  Darn, I'll be long, long gone.  I guess a work or song is copyrighted until 70 years after the composers death.  I am 99% certain "Ain't Misbehaving" is not public domain as it was written in 1929.  And of course, any recordings would not be public domain.

For more info on public domain see:     The website also has a list of public domain songs.

Hope that helps.


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R the music nerd


I can answer most questions about music and composers compositional styles of the Romantic Style Period and 20th Century style period. I try to keep up with current composers of "classical" music. In these periods I know more about the orchestral aspect. I know a fair amount of keyboard music and other chamber music. I am coming from a low brass perspective as the trombone is my main instrument.


I have history classes in college under my belt, however I believe in lifelong learning so most of my knowledge comes from reading and listening to music for the last 20 years after graduation. I found I didn't really know a subject very well until you try to teach it. I have taught students in schools and at home in lessons about all aspects of music.

Bachelor of Music in Education: Cum Laude

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