The status of a recording or composition that is free of copyright protection or that is no longer owned by a Publishing company, and available for unrestricted use by anyone. The U.S. copyright statute gives an author control over a copyrighted work for a certain period of time (see “Term of Copyright”). After that time is up, the work is considered public domain. For example, a piece by Beethoven would be considered Public Domain; however, in order to be used in a film or television project a sound recording of the music must be licensed. In this case, the appropriate license would be a Master Use License. Existing recordings of public domain music generally may not be used without the permission of the owner of the recording.