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Securing Copyright Permissions.
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knikkki



Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 3145
Location: Davis, CA
Securing Copyright Permissions.  Reply with quote  

Dios freakin' Mio, man.

Does anybody know how to begin the process of securing copyright permissions? (i.e. use song lyrics in my novel.)

Also, do you know if you quote a line from a movie or tv show if you have to get copyright permission?

I went to copyright.gov ... Well, it's a government site, what can I expect? The online data base is in DOS ... DOS ... D.O.S. unreal. Maybe if we get out of Iraq the copyright department could afford an Oracle database.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Post Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:14 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ginjg



Joined: 04 Sep 2004
Posts: 6617
Location: Los Angeles
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you have to contact the music publisher for each particular song.
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Post Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:38 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
chris
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Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
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You have to write to the publisher. They usually have a permissions department. That department has a form. (Random House had their's on line.) You have to write to them and see if they are going to charge you. Songs are particularly sticky. You may end up paying a buttload for permissions. I originally used a line from the Beatle's Blackbird for the last section of Lamb (the line about "All your life, you have only been waiting for this moment to arise." ) After a brief search into what it was going to cost, I ended up using something in the public domain.


Movies are tougher. I'm not sure of the rules. I've quoted movies a number of times in context and haven't gotten permission without a problem.

I used a couple of quotes from a Random House book from 1961 in A Dirty Job. It took about five weeks and cost $100.00 -- which was reasonable. I've also recieved $50 here and there from people who used passages from my books in publications or on TV programs ( in Germany).

Post Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:48 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
chris
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Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
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chris wrote:
You have to write to the publisher. They usually have a permissions department. That department has a form. (Random House had theirs on line.) You have to write to them and see if they are going to charge you. Songs are particularly sticky. You may end up paying a buttload for permissions. I originally used a line from the Beatle's Blackbird for the last section of Lamb (the line about "All your life, you have only been waiting for this moment to arise." ) After a brief search into what it was going to cost, I ended up using something in the public domain.

On the other hand, whoever owns John Prine's songs let us use that for free. Maybe it's Prine hisownself. I don't know.


Movies are tougher. I'm not sure of the rules. I've quoted movies a number of times in context and haven't gotten permission without a problem.


I used a couple of quotes from a Random House book from 1961 in A Dirty Job. It took about five weeks and cost $100.00 -- which was reasonable. I've also received $50 here and there from people who used passages from my books in publications or on TV programs ( in Germany).

Post Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:49 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
knikkki



Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 3145
Location: Davis, CA
Fair Use.  Reply with quote  

I've just been doing quite a bit of research on this ... I've got a bunch of song lyric snippets, two full songs, and 1 movie quote, 1 tv quote. WTF? Could I make it more difficult?

But, Chris ... It seems like you should have been able to use that Beatles quote. I'm still trying to understand this, and obviously I'm not a lawyer, but a lawyer directed me to a legal site.

The Fair Use law allows you to quote small portions of copyrighted material without obtaining permission. I can't really find a hard/fast defintion of it, and I'm not sure it applies to commercial fiction. Still looking.

Quote:
Rule 4: The More You Take, the Less Fair Your Use Is Likely to Be

The more material you take, the less likely it is that your use will be a fair use. As a general rule, never quote more than a few successive paragraphs from a book or article, or take more than one chart or diagram. It is never proper to include an illustration or other artwork in a book or newsletter without the artist's permission. Don't quote more than one or two lines from a poem. Many publishers require their authors to obtain permission from an author to quote more then a specified number of words, ranging from about 100 to 1000 words.

Contrary to what many people believe, there is no absolute word limit on fair use. For example, it is not always okay to take one paragraph of less than 200 words. Copying 200 words from a work of 300 words wouldn't be fair use. Nor would copying 12 words from a 14-word haiku poem. However, copying 2000 words from a work of 500,000 words might be fair. It all depends on the circumstances.

To preserve the free flow of information, authors have more leeway in using material from factual works (scholarly, technical, and scientific works) than to works of fancy such as novels, poems, and plays. This is true especially where it's necessary to use extensive quotations to ensure the accuracy of the information conveyed.



There's one scene in my book that can absolutely NOT be re-written, so I'm fucked if I can't get the permission.

Oh ... just found this article, might be worth reading. I am reading it now.

http://www.writing-world.com/rights/fair.shtml
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Post Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:09 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
FattyFattyPorkFace



Joined: 10 Aug 2004
Posts: 6381
Location: Michigan
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chris wrote:
You have to write to the publisher. They usually have a permissions department. That department has a form. (Random House had their's on line.) You have to write to them and see if they are going to charge you. Songs are particularly sticky. You may end up paying a buttload for permissions. I originally used a line from the Beatle's Blackbird for the last section of Lamb (the line about "All your life, you have only been waiting for this moment to arise." ) After a brief search into what it was going to cost, I ended up using something in the public domain.


Movies are tougher. I'm not sure of the rules. I've quoted movies a number of times in context and haven't gotten permission without a problem.

I used a couple of quotes from a Random House book from 1961 in A Dirty Job. It took about five weeks and cost $100.00 -- which was reasonable. I've also recieved $50 here and there from people who used passages from my books in publications or on TV programs ( in Germany).


I play a mean Blackbird. I should record that.
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Post Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:10 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
chris
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Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
Re: Fair Use.  Reply with quote  

knikkki wrote:
I've just been doing quite a bit of research on this ... I've got a bunch of song lyric snippets, two full songs, and 1 movie quote, 1 tv quote. WTF? Could I make it more difficult?

But, Chris ... It seems like you should have been able to use that Beatles quote. I'm still trying to understand this, and obviously I'm not a lawyer, but a lawyer directed me to a legal site.

The Fair Use law allows you to quote small portions of copyrighted material without obtaining permission. I can't really find a hard/fast defintion of it, and I'm not sure it applies to commercial fiction. Still looking.

Quote:
Rule 4: The More You Take, the Less Fair Your Use Is Likely to Be

The more material you take, the less likely it is that your use will be a fair use. As a general rule, never quote more than a few successive paragraphs from a book or article, or take more than one chart or diagram. It is never proper to include an illustration or other artwork in a book or newsletter without the artist's permission. Don't quote more than one or two lines from a poem. Many publishers require their authors to obtain permission from an author to quote more then a specified number of words, ranging from about 100 to 1000 words.

Contrary to what many people believe, there is no absolute word limit on fair use. For example, it is not always okay to take one paragraph of less than 200 words. Copying 200 words from a work of 300 words wouldn't be fair use. Nor would copying 12 words from a 14-word haiku poem. However, copying 2000 words from a work of 500,000 words might be fair. It all depends on the circumstances.

To preserve the free flow of information, authors have more leeway in using material from factual works (scholarly, technical, and scientific works) than to works of fancy such as novels, poems, and plays. This is true especially where it's necessary to use extensive quotations to ensure the accuracy of the information conveyed.



There's one scene in my book that can absolutely NOT be re-written, so I'm fucked if I can't get the permission.

Oh ... just found this article, might be worth reading. I am reading it now.

http://www.writing-world.com/rights/fair.shtml



Commercial use is the key, K. My publisher has very deep pockets, they aren't going to leave their ass hanging out for a lawsuit from Sony or whoever owns the Beatles catalog now. Fair use for an academic paper and fair use for something you get paid for-- different. Give you an example. I read the script to Basic Instinct before it was ever filmed. The entire movie is built around Rolling Stones songs. The specific songs are named in each scene in the script. There's not one Stones song featured in the finished movie. Guess why?

Post Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:39 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
deb



Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Posts: 6325
Location: Montana
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Michael Jackson owns the Beatles catalog. He outbid Paul McCartney.
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Post Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:53 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
FattyFattyPorkFace



Joined: 10 Aug 2004
Posts: 6381
Location: Michigan
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deb wrote:
Michael Jackson owns the Beatles catalog. He outbid Paul McCartney.


Michael Jackson owns the Northern Songs Ltd catalog. George Harrison's songs are owned by the Harrisongs Ltd company (and therefore whoever owns that) and Ringo's are owned by Starkey Songs or something like that.

The Lennon/McCartney credit was part of the Northern Songs Ltd contract that the two songwriters signed. The deal meant that the two songwriters did not get much money for their songwriting efforts. It sucked ass.
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Post Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:36 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
knikkki



Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 3145
Location: Davis, CA
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Quote:
Commercial use is the key, K. My publisher has very deep pockets, they aren't going to leave their ass hanging out for a lawsuit from Sony or whoever owns the Beatles catalog now. Fair use for an academic paper and fair use for something you get paid for-- different. Give you an example. I read the script to Basic Instinct before it was ever filmed. The entire movie is built around Rolling Stones songs. The specific songs are named in each scene in the script. There's not one Stones song featured in the finished movie. Guess why?


I've accepted the reality of the situation. I'm going to secure permissions where I can, and re-write where I can't, and hope for the best on the one critical part.
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Post Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:58 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
palmer



Joined: 30 Mar 2004
Posts: 1324
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There is a book called The Copyright Permission and Lible Handbook: A Step by Step Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers, written by Lloyd J. Jassin and Steven C. Schechter.

Post Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:43 pm   View user's profile Send private message
knikkki



Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 3145
Location: Davis, CA
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Perfect! Thanks for that. Definitely worth the twelve bucks
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Post Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:15 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ginjg



Joined: 04 Sep 2004
Posts: 6617
Location: Los Angeles
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Last night Bill Scheft was on Letterman. He regularly uses songs in his writing and in his new book Time Won't Let Me he used 3.

He spoke about contacting the rights departments at BMI for permission. A gently amusing story later he said it was a penny per song per copy of the book.

I'd suggest contacting BMI and ASCAP Rights department rather than the bands' lawyers. You'll probably get a better deal.
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To Learn is to Know
To Know is to Love
To Love is our aim

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Post Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:55 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
knikkki



Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 3145
Location: Davis, CA
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Thanks for that! Sounds like a good deal to me.

You have to go with whomever owns the song's copyrights, so if it's the lawyers, it's the lawyers. ASCAP has a great website, you put the song info in and it will give you the name of the owner. Then you call them and ask how to go about getting permissions. I'm getting to be a pro at this.

If anyone is interested

http://www.ascap.com/ace/search.cfm?mode=search
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Post Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:31 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
CoffeeCatMuse



Joined: 10 Jan 2007
Posts: 22
Location: Dayton, OH
Re: Fair Use.  Reply with quote  

knikkki wrote:


There's one scene in my book that can absolutely NOT be re-written, so I'm fucked if I can't get the permission.


Same here, knikki.....it has EVERYTHING to do with everything. Smile

Thanks for all your help here...it was on my LOOOOOONG list of to-do things as I finalize my novel for publication.

I too have made it incredibly hard for myself...lyrics are everywhere in my book---but only one line at a time. With the exception of an entire U2 song.
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Post Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:50 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
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