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Ravel ...

A topic by Yazorius created Jan 02, 2022 Views: 269 Replies: 5
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Ravel is my favorite composer. But as a French (just like me), his works are subject to a very particular law which has been a case study, and to flow a lot of ink. Because if internationally his works entered the public domain in 2016, in France it was still forbidden to be able to use the works composed before December 1920 (because benefiting from an extended protection compared to those composed after ... extremely twisted logic resulting from an agreement with a sheet music publisher and a minister in 1985 as explained below).

So, while the whole world could benefit from all of Ravel's compositions, it is only from this year 2022 that we can also do so in France, for these works from before 1920. This concerns for example Daphnis & Chloe, Ma Mère l'Oye, his Sonatine, and many other works.

So, I wondered if, since these musics fell into the public domain (only) in France from this year, I could consider them as valid for your game jam, or only the international date (which was not valid for France) is accepted (which will force me to look for another inspiration, no worries ^^).

Enclosed (in French) are links talking about this specific case that is Ravel and the copyrights that are linked to his works:

"In France, following the Lang law of 1985, the rights to Maurice Ravel's work were extended from 50 to 70 years, which, for all creations subsequent to December 31, 1920 (end date of extensions war period of the First World War, brought them into the public domain in France on May 1, 2016, given the accumulation of war extensions. [98], [99] Creations published prior to December 31, 1920 are concerned by the extensions of the two world wars: they will enter the public domain in 2022 "

In 2022, works published before the First World War obtain the extensions of the two world wars, that is to say 14 years and 272 additional days of extension. So from this date, we will be able to play freely Daphnis and Chloé, My mother Oye, Le Tombeau de Couperin and others ...

This contest only applies to copyright law in the US and not to copyright law (or droit d'auteur) in France. The only compositions of Ravel's which are eligible for this contest are the ones which are made in 1926, as the copyrights to those expired in the US (you can use Ravel's compositions before 1926, but they won't be eligible for the contest).

Is that clear?


Perfectly. I wasn't sure, but now I am. Thanks

Not a problem! Happy to help!


Based on discussion elsewhere, I believe any sound recording of a Ravel composition prior to 1923  is eligible for this year's jam.  I managed to find one on the Library of Congress website but I am sure others exist somewhere: Chanson Hebraique | Library of Congress (

To recap: Ravel compositions published in 1926 (not the recordings) are eligible this year and Ravel recordings prior to 1923 are eligible this year, but as long as you use an eligible work that entered the public domain in the US this year (2022), you can also incorporate other Ravel works from the public domain or other public domain works from previous years without issue.

If I've misstated the rules, anyone please feel free to correct me.


Nope, you nailed it perfectly!