Dear Rich: I have a question. I have an online flute consignment shop. I have created a link where I would like to make a piece of sheet music from the public domain available for free download each month. I could go to the local university Fine Arts library and copy music out of old books (which will look like scans of old music), or I could download the same piece of music from a free online source that is already in existence and have it be clean and pretty because someone took the time to typeset it and make it nice to read (I cannot possibly typeset this music myself... for many reasons). But I do not know if this is either legal or ethical. In some cases, there are footnotes that say something akin to, "Not to be used for commercial works." In other cases, there is no such notation. Can I take the music from one of these sites and give it away as a download on mine? I'm so glad you asked. The short answer to your question is that you can legally use public domain music provided that the musical notation you mention is obvious, routine, dictated by musical convention, and does not involve any major changes or new arrangements. In other words, if the notation is simply what's typically required to write the music, it's not protected by copyright. Wait... was that the short answer?