Can the OpenScore LiederCorpus scores and performance indications be used commercially?

• Jan 20, 2021 - 23:20

What are the limits and/or requirements, if any, in regards to using the OpenScore LiederCorpus collections in a commercial setting?
I am working on a commercial project that would greatly benefit from them and I'd appreciate it if the rules in these regards can be explained to me.
If needed, I am happy to share the nature of my project with a musescore employee privately in order to gain the required permissions.

Thank you!


First point: IANAL.
Second point: the OpenScore movement and the OpenScore Lieder Corpus is not run by MuseScore, nor do MuseScore employees get involved. OpenScore is run through a volunteer system, and simply uses the platform to host the scores (about 1,000 in the Lieder Corpus so far).

The scores in the OpenScore Lieder Corpus are all transcribed from Public Domain scores hosted on IMSLP. That means that the source material is out of copyright, so no problem there. The transcriptions (MuseScore files) are published on - that's the link you included. The licence is always "Creative Commons copyright waiver" i.e. Public Domain.

The Lieder Corpus is already used as an academic resource for musical analysis, but as far as I know that's on a non-commercial basis. Perhaps your best approach to getting specific questions answered is to start a conversation on the OpenScore Lieder Corpus group on Telegram here:
And by all means send me a private message with your email address, through the MuseScore Message system.

> What are the limits and/or requirements, if any, in regards to using the OpenScore LiederCorpus collections in a commercial setting?

The scores in the OpenScore Lieder Corpus are released under Creative Common Zero (CC0). This is a full copyright waiver, so there are no limits on commercial use. The scores are effectively in the public domain. You can do anything you like with the scores and you do not need to ask permission. You can sell them, modify them, sell your modified version, etc. and you don't have to pay anybody.

Naturally, if you modify the scores, you cannot claim that your modified version was created or endorsed by OpenScore or OpenScore Lieder Corpus (i.e. you cannot make false claims). This is a legal requirement.

If you do modify the scores, we kindly ask that you credit "OpenScore Lieder Corpus" with creating the original transcription, and that you provide a link to the individual score in question on the OpenScore LiederCorpus account. You don't have to give credit (it is not a legal requirement), but we ask that you do it anyway as a favour to us and our contributors to recognise the effort we put in to transcribe these scores and make them available for free.

Let's say that you modified Harold Boulton's Cradle Song to add piano fingering. A suitable credit would be:

Transcription by OpenScore Lieder Corpus -
Piano fingering added by ibealgoody

Or if you created a new arrangment:

Arrangement by ibealgoody
Based on transcription by OpenScore Lieder Corpus -

These credits should appear at the bottom of the first page of music. You would add them to the copyright field in MuseScore (File > Score Properties).

If you don't modify a piece then you don't have to do anything; just leave the existing credit to "OpenScore (CC0)" or "OpenScore Lieder Corpus (CC0)" in place.

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