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I have a question! (Copyright and permission)

GUEST,Kim C, no cookie 23 Aug 10 - 05:46 PM
GUEST 23 Aug 10 - 05:54 PM
olddude 23 Aug 10 - 05:54 PM
GUEST,Kim C, no cookie 23 Aug 10 - 06:00 PM
Leadfingers 23 Aug 10 - 07:00 PM
Dan Schatz 23 Aug 10 - 07:05 PM
gnu 23 Aug 10 - 07:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Aug 10 - 07:23 PM
Suegorgeous 23 Aug 10 - 07:26 PM
Richard Bridge 23 Aug 10 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 23 Aug 10 - 10:05 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Aug 10 - 10:25 PM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 24 Aug 10 - 09:41 AM
Richard Bridge 24 Aug 10 - 10:28 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 24 Aug 10 - 11:04 AM
Richard Bridge 24 Aug 10 - 12:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Aug 10 - 12:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Aug 10 - 02:56 PM
autoharpbob 25 Aug 10 - 02:25 PM
Stringsinger 25 Aug 10 - 03:16 PM
Richard Bridge 25 Aug 10 - 03:50 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 25 Aug 10 - 11:53 PM
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Subject: I have a question!
From: GUEST,Kim C, no cookie
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 05:46 PM

First of all, how is everybody?!!!? I don't get around here as much as I used to.

Anyhow, my question is this: if I write a song inspired by a copyrighted poem, and using some of the words in the poem, from whom do I get permission - the publisher or the author's estate (as he is long dead)? And if I never actually record it or put it up for sale, am I still obligated to get permission? Either way, I think I would be happier getting permission.

Thoughts? Thanks. :-)


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Subject: RE: I have a question!
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 05:54 PM

The copyright owner. And no to your second question.


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Subject: RE: I have a question!
From: olddude
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 05:54 PM

Publisher, the author's estate may not own the copyright but the publisher would represent who does


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Subject: RE: I have a question!
From: GUEST,Kim C, no cookie
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 06:00 PM

Thanks y'all. As it turns out, the poem in question may actually be in the public domain. I need to do a little more research on it first.


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Subject: RE: I have a question!
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 07:00 PM

IF you are only using the Ideas in the poem and only SOME of the actual phraseology , I cant see any problem ! If you were setting yhe entire poem , or just some of the verses , that would be a different matter ! Research is NOT plagiarism !


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Subject: RE: I have a question!
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 07:05 PM

If you intend to copyright the poem, then you may need to double check part of it isn't already under copyright. But if, as you say, the poem is in the public domain, you're fine. The last verse of Len Chandler's classic song "Keep On Keepin' On" (recently recorded by moi) quotes the poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox to great effect.

Warmly,
Dan


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Subject: RE: I have a question!
From: gnu
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 07:17 PM

I believe Terry is correct... if your song is an original composition... no need for any permission.

Now, if you use certain phrases... hmmm... say, for a very simple example, from Tull... "with the clearest eyes of forever grey", I assume that would be a time to ask for permission. Imagery is part what makes lyrics a work of art. If you use such from an established source (or otherwise), you are stealing the intellectual property of the originator. And such is grounds for legal action, as it should be.


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Subject: RE: I have a question!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 07:23 PM

Why worry about all that? The author is unlikely to have any objections. Just write the song.


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Subject: RE: I have a question!
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 07:26 PM

Wouldn't it be more useful if this thread was retitled? - something like "Copyright permission needed?"


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Subject: RE: I have a question! (Copyright and permission)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 09:55 PM

Under both US and UK law the first question is whether the extent of reproduction would (absent permission) amount to infringment. This is a question of substantiality of reproduction. However US law contains a defence of parody, which UK law does not.

Next question, is the first work in copyright? This can be a very very vexed question, and subject to wholly different concerns in the UK and USA. In both if the author has been dead for over 70 years the work will almost inevitably be out of copyright, but in the UK there were some categories of perpetual copyright that only became time limited in 1988 and may run until 2038. In the USA the duration of copyright in old works may have been shorter thanks to the old US 28 years + 28 years under the 1909 US Copyright Act, and US works may also have lost copyright due to non-renewal during that and the later 28 + 75 year structure, although works of non-US Berne Convention origin may have returned to US copyright after the US Berne COnvention Implimentation Act.

Third question - is the relevant act restricted by copyright. The USA has a "private use" doctrine. The UK does not. So in the UK if permission is needed and not obtained the mere writing (in a material form) of the new work will infringe copyright in the old, no matter how private the reproduction is kept. This is often overlooked by Americans.

Fourth question - who owns the relevant part of copyright. Copyright has always been divisible in the UK, whereas under the US 1909 Act some argued that copyright was indivisible and that all that could be transferred were "rights under copyright" but that pedantry is no longer with us. A publisher may have taken an assignment of the whole of the copyright - or not. But for old works the title to the US "renewal term" need not necessarily have vested in the author, but if he was dead could have gone to a member of family. There is much learning in the USA around this topic, the leading case being "Rear Window". As the US law now stands, the doctrine around this has largely been replaced by two separate rights of termination - one for old works, one for newer. Even in the UK, there maybe a reversionary right for works that were first assigned before 1956 - they may be affected by the proviso to S. 5(2) of the Copyright Act 1911 and revert to the author's estate 25 years after his death.

Have fun.


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Subject: RE: I have a question! (Copyright and permission)
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 10:05 PM

Forget the Bridge-to-Nowhere (and fat pocketed UK solicitor's fees.) Some of his advice threatens salaries of 250 a month India school teachers.

The world is global.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Look to Sweden it is the new future.


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Subject: RE: I have a question! (Copyright and permission)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 10:25 PM

U. S. Copyright Law here:
Copyright Law

Complete version, 2009. A number of amendments since the Copyright Act of 1976.


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Subject: RE: I have a question! (Copyright and permission)
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 24 Aug 10 - 09:41 AM

Thanks, everyone. I wouldn't be using the entire poem verbatim (it's WAAAAY too long), although I would use parts of the original phraseology. Of course, I would give credit to the poet - I just don't want to be remiss in any legal obligations I may have. The poem was originally published in 1917, and as near as I can figure, is indeed PD.

Wonder what Simon & Garfunkel did when they wrote "Richard Cory"? It's kinda like that.


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Subject: RE: I have a question! (Copyright and permission)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Aug 10 - 10:28 AM

Kim C - are you UK or USA?

Who is author?

When did he die?


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Subject: RE: I have a question! (Copyright and permission)
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 24 Aug 10 - 11:04 AM

All depends on the amount of material used. Is it significant. One verse of many will not be.

Humans can not copy right we are not machines we can only copy wrong.

Conrad


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Subject: RE: I have a question! (Copyright and permission)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Aug 10 - 12:43 PM

Dear Konrad: I suggest you read Ravenscroft -v- Herbert. Or the US equivalent.


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Subject: RE: I have a question! (Copyright and permission)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Aug 10 - 12:57 PM

Or not...


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Subject: RE: I have a question! (Copyright and permission)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Aug 10 - 02:56 PM

Richard Cory? Simon and Garfunkel re-wrote the original pd poem (before 1900), and they own the copyright to their version. They were not the only ones to do so.

There are eight versions copyright and listed by ASCAP.

Six versions are copyright and listed by BMI.
Paul Simon, as Songwriter/Composer for the Simon-Garfunkel song, is affiliated with BMI-
Legal Title- Richard Cory
BMI Work No. 1249332
Publisher- Paul Simon Music.

The other five with copyright are by different writers, and are sufficiently different from Simon's version to hold unasailable rights for their versions.


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Subject: RE: I have a question! (Copyright and permission)
From: autoharpbob
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 02:25 PM

Peasant is incorrect - "substantial" is not the same as "significant". If all that was copied was one line, but that line was recognisable and important, infringement would have occurred. Like, imagine Hamlet's soliloquoy was still copyright. If you copied just "To be or not to be" - just six words - that would be argued as being of sufficient importance to constitute a breach.


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Subject: RE: I have a question! (Copyright and permission)
From: Stringsinger
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 03:16 PM

The estate generally owns the copyright. Unless it has already been recorded as a song, all you would need is to honor a compulsory license. You would pay a fee to the publisher who copyrighted the song.

There comes a time in literature where the statue of limitations runs out. Richard Cory being a case in point. You could probably set Shakespeare or the bible to music without any copyright problems. But you couldn't do a rewrite on "Happy Birthday to You" without getting into trouble.

If the poem is in public domain, you have no problems.


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Subject: RE: I have a question! (Copyright and permission)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 03:50 PM

Please remember that copyright is territorial. You may write a work in the USA and it may be that it does not there infringe any copyright in a source work to do so. But if you import that work into the UK it is perfectly possible for the source work to be in copyright in the UK.

Who wrote the original "Richard Cory" and when and where, and when did that writer die?


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Subject: RE: I have a question! (Copyright and permission)
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 11:53 PM

Before you read copyright law read fair use law

Available from LOC web site.

My favorite is one copy for classroom use

Conrad


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