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EGS: Music [message #5354] Thu, 20 September 2007 15:38 Go to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
Messages: 684
Registered: September 2002
Senior Member
The various music licensing agencies are totalitarian assholes; you will NEVER hear waiters in a franchised restaurant singing specifically "Happy Birthday" because of this. No joke.

Tuck has bits of lyrics here and there. I either need to remove them entirely, or get permission from the appropriate agency for use of each lyric. "Fair Use" (the copyright legal definition) does not appear to exist for music lyrics; claiming Fair Use would not I think work.

I'm not willing to bust my ass AND wait for some corporate drone to get back to be in six months; does someone else want to do some of this?
Or should I drop all lyrics entirely?


Ellen
nosig
Re: EGS: Music [message #5357] Fri, 21 September 2007 02:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
Messages: 695
Registered: August 2004
Location: Portland, OR
Senior Member
It'd be nice if you didn't drop the lyrics. But it can be a major hassle.

One "tip" is for whoever does the work to try contacting the artist directly. Spider Robinson wound up doing that for some lyrics in one of his books. The artist was reasonable the licensing folks were not. But they couldn't override the artist.

Alas, some of the big groups sold their rights to the publishers...
Re: EGS: Music [message #5361] Fri, 21 September 2007 20:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eric  is currently offline Eric
Messages: 641
Registered: January 2003
Location: San Francisco
Senior Member
It seems to me that there's a reference here -- something that you or Erin found online some time back -- that says that you can (or somebody did) get away with two lines or 14 words or some such thing before the lawyers get involved.

Another point, FWIW: a print-on-demand book is easier and less costly to change after the fact than a book with a regular print run would be.

Eric
Re: EGS: Music [message #5362] Sat, 22 September 2007 12:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
Messages: 684
Registered: September 2002
Senior Member
Eric wrote on Sat, 22 September 2007 01:19

Another point, FWIW: a print-on-demand book is easier and less costly to change after the fact than a book with a regular print run would be.

That's as may be; but it would cost me eighty dollars to change it once it is "fully published". That's a non-trivial sum, especially considering the pulled-it-out-of-my-ass expected sales figure of 50 copies.

Also, I did some more research this morning:

* "Fair use" does not apply to fiction.

* A writer was sued for using four words, "Sock it to me" (those four) from Aretha Franklin's song "R.E.S.P.E.C.T.", and lost, and had to pay damages.
(just reporting a piece of an article, under fair use, of http://www.justaboutwrite.com/A_Archive_IntellectProp3.html)

* It's totally up to the owner of publishing rights - who COULD be the artist, the songwriter, the music company, or someone else - whether or not to sue. And, gee, do you think a work about an underaged sex pervert might cause ungenerous thoughts from any what-demographic-are-we-aiming-at offend-no-one corporate suit that learned about it? And then, if sued, the issue is settled in court.

Off Topic


Why is trial-by-combat considered barbaric but trial-by-expense considered civilized?
If a company sent out four goons to physically threaten me, they'd be roasted both legally and in the press; if a company sends out four lawyers who make more in one day than I've ever made in an entire year, that's "normal".



Basically, while it "would be nice", if I don't get permissions, I have to pull all the lyrics.

Does anyone want to do the work? I can't deal.


Ellen
nosig
Re: EGS: Music [message #5366] Sat, 22 September 2007 13:35 Go to previous message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
Messages: 712
Registered: September 2002
Location: Surf City, USA
Senior Member
Administrator
The article under fair use on the phrase "Sock it to me," is most likely wrong. One, it's not Aretha Franklin's song, she did a cover of an Otis Redding song though apparently, she and her sisters added the background vocal of "Sock it to me" in Aretha's arrangement. The year before she did this, however, a song called "Sock it to me, Santa" by Bob Seeger appeared.

And two, "Sock it to me" was a line that had been going around in black comedy performances for some time before its use in any popular song. It was frequently used in Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In along with other catch phrases from black cabaret like "Here come De Judge". Like most such catchphrases it had a sexual connotation.

That article doesn't quote a source or case for the supposed "Sock it to me" ruling and I can't find any such ruling mentioned anywhere else.

Yes, the owners of song lyrics are frequently nuts and courts can give some incredible rulings but I don't believe the accuracy of that report. Very short pithy phrases, catchphrases, just like jokes and recipes, generally cannot be copyrighted.

The problem remains of what to do about the lyrics in Tuck.

- Erin
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