Christmas is almost here and Christmas songs we love are soon to be heard over and over again.

Have you ever thought of the copyright status behind these famous songs? Just because a Christmas song was written in 1934 does not necessarily mean it is in the public domain.

Many of the carols sung today are hundreds of years old and have outlived their copyright protection. ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ has been around since the 19th century, while ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ has been sung even longer, dating back to the 16th century. A few more recently composed carols that have also outlived their copyright protection are ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘What Child is This’, ‘Away in a Manger’, ‘Deck the Halls’ and ‘Silent Night’.

While the above mentioned songs are no longer protected by copyright, numerous others are still under protection. One famous Christmas song still under copyright is ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’. This song was written in 1932 by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie, although the end of the copyright is near, it is still emphatically enforced as are many of the most famous works, ‘White Christmas’, composed by Irving Berlin between 1940-1942, it was written for the movie ‘Holiday Inn’. ‘White Christmas’ is one of the highest-selling songs in history and is one of the most-recorded Christmas songs; there have been more than 500 recorded versions of the song, in several different languages.

We here at Alyafi IP Group wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.

For more information and to check copyright, public domain information please reach out to us at


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