Rights

Satirist Tom Lehrer has put his songs into the public domain


Songwriter Tom Lehrer became a star in the 1950s and ’60s writing and performing satirical songs that skewered just about everything. Since then, his work has appeared on stages in London and New York, been translated into Spanish and Swedish and even sampled on a rap track.

Lehrer, 92, announced Tuesday via his website that he’s effectively putting everything he ever wrote into the public domain. That means his lyrics and sheet music are available for anyone to use or perform, without having to pay royalties or deal with lawyers.

Lehrer’s songs took on nuclear weapons, racial injustice, pollution — and the Nazi engineer-turned-NASA scientist Wernher von Braun — via Marketplace

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