Here is relevant information from the Copyright Office. As I
understand it, no matter when written, if it was unpublished you could
obtain copyright protection for it if you published it or registered
it before 2003. I do not believe that you can obtain protection for it
On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 4:54 PM, David Lewis <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> It is not copyrightable, as Dula died in 1868 and the work was created
> before 1893. But you could publish it within a monograph about Dula, and
> you can copyright that.
> Dave Lewis
> On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 1:30 PM, Marty Tschetter
> <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> Seeking advice or experience...my local museum stumbled across handwritten
>> lyrics written by Tom Dula in 1862 as a Confederate soldier, donated
>> outright to the museum circa 2005 by a distant relative. Just about every
>> week we get visitors interested in the Tom Dula story because of the folk
>> song "Hang Your Head Down Low Tom Dooley" recorded by the Kingston Trio.
>> Doc Watson and even the Grateful Dead recorded the song.
>> How do we copyright this song? Should we do this? As a small museum, any
>> suggestions or thoughts if we could possibly (or should) try to make some
>> money off the song? I'm not sure exactly how this would work or what is
>> appropriate. Any advice or feedback welcomed.