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Tom Lehrer has released his songs and lyrics into the public domain.

tomlehrersongs.com/

What a nice thing to do.

@mike "This website will be shut down on December 31, 2024"

*cracks open the download manager pronto*

@mike I sometimes wonder why creatives who've made more money than they can spend, and have retained their copyrights, don't just release their work under a free licence. I've come to the conclusion it's because they're a bunch of arseholes, but it's nice to see Tom Lehrer isn't among them.

@y6nH wanting to leave the benefits of your work to your family to keep them secure is pretty hard thing to turn away from.

Tom Lehrer has no children, never married anyone, not sure if there's any extended family. No information out there, really. Probably a major factor in this decision.

Not that it lessens the value of what he's done, but I get why it's not more common.

@mike I don't really know how many people I'm talking about here. Most of the big names probably don't own the rights to their songs or books or pictures or whatever. And lesser-known names don't make that much money. But there's a fair tranche left over who can give each of their children a million dollars and live a comfortable retirement on savings, yet still keep accruing wealth from old copyrights.

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