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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10712
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 7:15 am

Question.

The character in my book sings a popular song.
I got the lyrics from the I-Net.

In a situation such as this, do I need permission to use the lyrics?
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Malcolm
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Malcolm

Number of posts : 1504
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : Georgia

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 8:36 am

Probably so. How old is the song?

Malcolm

P.S. I'm expecting a copy of your book to arrive this week; I'm looking forward to it!
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http://www.conjurewomanscat.com
Shelagh
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Shelagh

Number of posts : 12618
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 9:26 am

If it's a popular song, do you need to include the lyrics? Would the opening line be enough?

_________________
Copyright permission 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Copyright permission 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Copyright permission 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Copyright permission 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Copyright permission 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Copyright permission 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins
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http://shelaghwatkins.co.uk
Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10712
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 9:52 am

Actually there are two songs. The Rose with the lyrics in English and in German as well as a German song, "Du, du..." in German and in English.
I suppose I could start the song, mix it with conversation, and then use an ending on both. Do you think that would work?
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lin
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lin

Number of posts : 2753
Registration date : 2008-03-20
Location : Mexico

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 9:56 am

This is a tough one lately: the whole scene of lawyers running around busting people for what has been considered "fair use" in the past has muddied the waters. The RIAA is backing off somewhat...so maybe we won't continue to see documentary films sidelined because you can hear a song in the background in a ghetto street scene, but it's very shaky ground.

If you run the whole lyric sheet, you are definitely infringing.

What you see a lot is snippets interspersed in narrative. Which is what I would do if I wanted to quote a song. But there is just no telling anymore what is OK and what's not. In the USA, at any rate.

(I get around any such problems by writing my own lyrics)
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http://linrobinson.com
Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10712
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 10:08 am

Sorry for not responding Malcolm. I'm pleased that your ordered my book.

Lin, Shelagh,
thanks. I don't know where to get the permission but I'll start with some googles.
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lin
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lin

Number of posts : 2753
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Location : Mexico

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 10:17 am

If the song is not in the public domain, the rights organization would almost certainly be ASCAP in the USA or BMI in the UK.

Both are insanely difficult to deal with, especially for anybody not seeking the standard licences they are used to. They might have some helpful guidelines.

A perhaps more helpful source of permission would be the publishing company of the song. Should be easy to find, if it's not right on the lyric sheet you got from the net.
I've had rotten luck trying to correspond with publishing companies, but they are all different and you could luck out.

Keep in mind that the license you obtain has to satisfy your publisher, chiefly.
As with releases for photos, excerpts, etc, it's often best to start with your publisher, ask them what they need, then see if you can get it from the song publisher.

Good luck
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http://linrobinson.com
Brenda Hill
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Brenda Hill

Number of posts : 1297
Registration date : 2008-02-16
Location : Southern CA

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 10:33 am

Abe, a few years ago I was editing a PA author’s book, and I found two stanzas/verses of a song popular in the /60s, definitely a copyright infringement. I immediately notified the author, she notified PA and PA pulled the book. It had already been published, but the author was hoping PA would reprint the edited version.

I tried to help her with the process of getting permission to print the lyrics, but it was a nightmare. You have to find the songwriter(s) and sometimes that’s very difficult, and it can be even more difficult to get their permission to use the lyrics. But I’ve heard of cases where the songwriter will sue the violator, sometimes for big bucks, so I’d strongly advise, unless you have permission, to simply print the title, which, from what I’ve been told, is okay.

Or you could use the title, then paraphrase a few of the lyrics.

There have been debates on what’s considered ‘fair use,’ and some have said you can quote the first line, or the first few words, and some have said it’s okay to use the first 500 words, but none of that has been proven – at least it hadn’t when I was researching. I haven’t checked in a while, but I’d tread very carefully if I were you. Wouldn’t want to have to bail you out of the pokey, ya know...

I was just sued for using an unauthorized photo on my website, which I thought had been authorized by the author who 'shared' it with me, and in the formal papers, they told me simply removing the image was not sufficient. They demanded payment, which was a four-figure amount.

There ARE watchdogs out there, so be careful.
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

Number of posts : 12618
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Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 10:50 am

You can't actually copyright words. You could easily write a line of a song in narrative without being aware that song even existed. However, if you say that someone burst into song, you can't then claim to not know the words of the song!

_________________
Copyright permission 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Copyright permission 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Copyright permission 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Copyright permission 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Copyright permission 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Copyright permission 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins
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Brenda Hill
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Brenda Hill

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Location : Southern CA

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 11:01 am

Lyrics in a popular song ARE under a copyright law, Shelagh, as are words in a novel. I believe a copyright is valid for 75 years before it reverts to fair use, or some such thing. As I said earlier, I haven't researched it in a while.

Nora Roberts took popular author Janet Dailey to court for copyright violations and won. NR proved certain phrases JD used in one of her books was the same used in NR's books. Big bucks were involved in that one.
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

Number of posts : 12618
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Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 11:23 am

Abe,

This page should answer all your questions and, at the end, you wil find links to musical publishing rights:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/need_permission.htm

Brenda, by words, I meant:

Several categories of material are generally not eligible for federal copyright protection. These include among others:

  • Works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of expres​sion(for example, choreographic works that have not been notated or recorded, or improvisational speeches or performances that have not been written or recorded)
  • Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents
  • Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a description, explanation, or illustration
  • Works consisting entirely of information that is common property and containing no original authorship (for example: standard calendars, height and weight charts, tape measures and rulers, and lists or tables taken from public documents or other common sources)

http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html

_________________
Copyright permission 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Copyright permission 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Copyright permission 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Copyright permission 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Copyright permission 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Copyright permission 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins
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http://shelaghwatkins.co.uk
Brenda Hill
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Brenda Hill

Number of posts : 1297
Registration date : 2008-02-16
Location : Southern CA

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 11:41 am

Yes, titles and short phrases are not subjec to copyright, but who can prove what a 'short phrase' is?

After my experience with the watchdogs, I'd still advise Abe to have his character paraphrase a few words of the song. It's not a good idea to risk a court battle over who's right. As in everything, it takes money and time to prove a case and/or to defend it.

But of course, each writer has to decide for him/herself what risks he/she wants to take. Just be aware there is a risk.
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

Number of posts : 12618
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 12:02 pm

I agree. Very Happy

_________________
Copyright permission 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Copyright permission 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Copyright permission 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Copyright permission 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Copyright permission 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Copyright permission 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins
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http://shelaghwatkins.co.uk
Brenda Hill
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Brenda Hill

Number of posts : 1297
Registration date : 2008-02-16
Location : Southern CA

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 12:07 pm

So we agree on something? That's as strange as when I agree with Dick - of course agreeing with him only occurs occasionally, thank goodness. Wink
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

Number of posts : 12618
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Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 1:22 pm

I never disagree with you, Brenda; I just have a different opinion.

Copyright permission 892798 I am about to send off the article about self-publishing. As soon as it is online, I'll let you know.

_________________
Copyright permission 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Copyright permission 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Copyright permission 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Copyright permission 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Copyright permission 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Copyright permission 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins
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Carol Troestler
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Carol Troestler

Number of posts : 3827
Registration date : 2008-06-07
Age : 81
Location : Wisconsin

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 1:41 pm

In my book I write the following about a song:

Bob Dylan wrote a song during the Cuban Missile Crisis, titled “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.” He wrote of the effects of nuclear war, of people unable to speak, of confusion, pain, blood and horror, writing his concerns to a son. He speaks of “ten thousand whispering and nobody listening,” of “sad forests” and “dead oceans.” He felt that we were heading towards nuclear war and this might be the last song he would ever be able to write. In the last verse, he sees the “black rain,” the flood of information through all media, which would “rob people of all reason and common sense.” In that verse he speaks of the “home in the valley meeting the damp dirty prison.” Oh, if he had only known in 1962 about computers bringing us an unbelievable amount of information that truly has connected those in “the valley” with those in the prison.

(Abe, I think part of the resource for this info was in German and Gisela translated it for me.)
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Dick Stodghill
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Dick Stodghill

Number of posts : 3795
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Age : 94
Location : Akron, Ohio

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 1:49 pm

Careful Brenda, I'm watching you.
affraid
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Carol Troestler
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Carol Troestler

Number of posts : 3827
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Age : 81
Location : Wisconsin

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 1:51 pm

I just can't not put music in my writing but I am careful with lyrics:

And last March, as we drove into Beaufort, South Carolina, James Taylor was singing “Carolina in My Mind” on our car CD player. The song speaks of seeing the sunshine and feeling the moonshine, about Carolina being just like a friend of mine. Hearing the song reminded me of the times the men in the squadron would sing, “Nothing Could be Finer Than to be in Carolina.” Nothing was finer this day in 2007, over forty years after we had lived here, than to be back in South Carolina, and yes, in writing I often went to “Carolina in my mind.”
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Carol Troestler
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Carol Troestler

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Age : 81
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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 1:54 pm

I'm on a roll here. I did use lyrics for this one, but this song is from the 1800s:

And finally, although basic freedoms are not allowed, Cuban music with Spanish and African roots has a unique sound in both traditional and popular music. The Cuban folk song “Guantanamera,” coming from a poem by José Martí, is one of the most popular of Latin American songs. English translation of the first stanza is:

I am a sincere man
From where the palm tree grows
And before dying I want
To share the verses of my soul.
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Brenda Hill
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Brenda Hill

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Registration date : 2008-02-16
Location : Southern CA

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 2:01 pm

Dick Stodghill wrote:
Careful Brenda, I'm watching you.
affraid


Oops. Copyright permission 964195
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lin
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lin

Number of posts : 2753
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Location : Mexico

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 5:20 pm

You can't actually copyright words.

Say WHAT????
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10712
Registration date : 2008-01-26
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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyMon Mar 09, 2009 10:38 pm

Thanks to all of you. Thanks Shelagh for the website.
I will try to get the permission.
Abe
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

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Age : 80
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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyTue Mar 10, 2009 2:19 am

I have requested permission for both songs. If is not forthcoming, I have re-written those pages using the title of the song and an excerpt, i.e., the first line and the last line of the song. Would that be considered an infringement? If so, what about using the title and then paraphrasing the line of the song?
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10712
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyTue Mar 10, 2009 6:18 am

I was surprised to get one "okay" approval back on the use of the German song, "Du, du, liegst mir im Herzen" in both German and English translation.
One down, one to go, although I really don't expect approval to come so quickly with "The Rose."
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lin
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lin

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright permission   Copyright permission EmptyTue Mar 10, 2009 7:26 am

If you use the title, paraphrasing serves no purpose.
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