When “Jingle Bells” is first heard in the mall, we know – it’s only about two months till Christmas. And those two months are full of Christmas music: it is played on TV commercials, an e-card that you just received and even the colleague’s phone has a “Last Christmas” tone. There is so much Christmas music everywhere that we think it can be used anytime and anywhere. But is this really the case? Can we use the Christmas song on our company’s e-card or advertisement without any additional conditions?
We can but only in one case – if more than 70 years have passed since the death of the authors of the musical work. However, even in such a case we have to indicate the names of the authors. Though such a long-term condition applies only to very few works and only to the version that was created originally. But who would want to use the original version of “Jingle Bells” made back in 1857, when much newer and more interesting-sounding was created? Unfortunately, any other version is already a new piece of art, the use of which requires separate consent and, in most cases, paying a fee. As well as any other Christmas song whose author is still alive.
Therefore, our Christmas is protected by copyright as who can imagine Christmas without Christmas songs? However, we can only use them, unless for personal use, strictly in accordance with the copyright rules. Each time you create a new Christmas advertisement or a company’s website that features Christmas music, ask if all the necessary consents for such use were obtained. Only then your Christmas will be safe.