Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Tech: Parody rights????

GUEST,Pj 04 Oct 04 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Blackcatter 04 Oct 04 - 02:47 PM
MMario 04 Oct 04 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,Pj 04 Oct 04 - 04:35 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Oct 04 - 06:45 PM
Blackcatter 04 Oct 04 - 08:53 PM
Charley Noble 04 Oct 04 - 09:10 PM
GUEST,,gargoyle 04 Oct 04 - 11:00 PM
Gurney 05 Oct 04 - 03:55 AM
OtherDave 05 Oct 04 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,JohnB 05 Oct 04 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,PJ 05 Oct 04 - 02:49 PM
OtherDave 05 Oct 04 - 07:31 PM
GUEST 05 Oct 04 - 10:03 PM
GUEST,paddymac, temporarily cookieless, again 05 Oct 04 - 10:28 PM
Richard Bridge 06 Oct 04 - 11:51 AM
Nigel Parsons 06 Oct 04 - 03:55 PM
Blackcatter 06 Oct 04 - 04:12 PM
GUEST,PJ 07 Oct 04 - 03:36 PM
Blackcatter 07 Oct 04 - 05:07 PM
Richard Bridge 08 Oct 04 - 08:59 AM
Blackcatter 08 Oct 04 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,MMario 08 Oct 04 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,PJ 04 Nov 04 - 01:48 PM
Mudlark 04 Nov 04 - 04:14 PM
Liz the Squeak 05 Nov 04 - 03:31 AM
Nigel Parsons 05 Nov 04 - 01:56 PM
Liz the Squeak 05 Nov 04 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 05 Nov 04 - 10:18 PM
Liz the Squeak 06 Nov 04 - 07:44 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Tech: Parody rights????
From: GUEST,Pj
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 02:14 PM

Hello People, I was recommended to this site by a friend (excelent I must say) to help me answer a query i have

I reside in the Republic Of Ireland, and a few years ago i heard a parody of a very well known song, about Dublin and it's surrounding area's and townlands, needless to say the original is all laneways, friendly people and old time ireland, the parody, motorways, drug dealers, prostitutes, so on, as parody's do tend to be.

Now I know, the area in wich the parody originated, is fairly well aquainted with the song, especially among the older generation strangely enough, but here lies my problem.

I (ahem BORROWED) the parody, and altered it accordingly to suit my hometown, way across country from Dublin, wich i sing in pubs, and gatherings to everyone's delight. HOWEVER.....
Through singing the song, it fell to the ears of a singer, unknown to me who robbed it, of wich i can't complain, because thats what i did in the first place, BUT...... He has now recorded it onto CD for sale at his gigs, and claiming it his own.

I along with the original parody-ers no doubt think, this is fairly shitty of him, and am wondering if there is any noose on wich to hang our musical prostitute, would appreciate any thoughts or comments on this

NOTE: Rep Of Ireland may have different ins and outs to GB and states, wich you no doubt know, just noting it

Thank you
PJ


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: GUEST,Blackcatter
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 02:47 PM

OK - let's get this straight.

There was a "normal" song aout Dublin.

Someone wrote a parody of that song.

You modified that parody to fit your own town.

Someone else recorded and is claiming the song you wrote (with little or no changes).

--------------------------

Assuming that these are essentially the facts:

Here's basic copyright law in most countries.

A parody that has significant changes from the original song is, in fact, a new set of lyrics and is copyrightable by the writer. (the music isn't, of course, that would be controlled by whomever owns the rights to the music of the original song).

If you have modified a parody and have changed the lyrics significantly enough to be a different song, then you can copyright those lyrics.

If someone has recorded and is selling a song using your lyrics, basically unchanged, then technically, that's probably not legal.

The big question come from the point of whether you can prove those are you lyrics and that you can prove that you wrote them prior to the other person's claim. The easiest way to do this of course is to secure a copyright immediately after writing the song, but most people don't do that.

Have you recorded the song yourself?

Have you performed the song at venues, to a bunch of friends, on the radio, etc. prior to the release date of the offending CD?

If so, you probably have a legal arguement. Contact a lawyer if you think you can prove you wrote the song before the other person says. Yes - even playing the song for a bunch of friends may be enough evidence. They can testify that they were indeed familiar with the song. Bartenders and owners can also do the same.

Good luck.

Blackcatter


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: MMario
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 02:50 PM

alternatively - what are the possiblilites that his version is derived from the original? and/or the original parody?   Based on the descriptions it doesn't seem like an abnormal thing for someone to do.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: GUEST,Pj
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 04:35 PM

Thank you for your help
Blackcatter, your info is very precise, and helpfull,
I will now away to chase the roots of this parody, as I know a few people from the area. As my changes are mainly the chourus, wich is all placenames, & apart from that it's maybe 1 verse and a line or 2 here or there changed to suit, so i doubt i can claim it as mine (wich I don't mind) it's just that smartass has p***ed me off, and not only that........ HE PLAYS THE F***ING BODHRAN AS WELL!!! (sorry couldn't resist that)

Anyway I thank you again for your help, and will now see where i can go, any result, i will post up this thread again to let you know

PJ


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 06:45 PM

Blackcatter, you seem to set out the US law.

Irish Copyright law is very similar indeed to English.

Unlike US law UK (and Irish) law does not have a separate defence of parody. It is simply a matter of substantial reproduction. Also there is no need to do anything "to copyright" any work or subject matter. Copyright arises automatically.

The situation, as a matter of law, is this: -

The original parody, unless made with the consent of the owner of the copyright in the original words (if in copyright) was an infringment. There is a fairly well known case from the 50s in which the chorus of the well known song "Rock-a-billy rock-a-billy rock-a-billy rock" was rendered by way of parody (and insult to Prince Philip) " ...rock-a-Philip (etc)..." This was held to be an infringment.

In the absence of agreement to the contrary performing the parody will be an infringment of the words and music. PRS (and MCPS) licences do not include the making or performance of adaptations.

But an infringement is not by that status itself deprived of copyright protection. It is only the slavish imitation that is bereft of copyright.

PJ's parody of the parody is in the same position. Thus if his work is sufficiently original and substantial in copyright terms it will have its own copyright.

The user of PJ's version may be sued by the owner of copyright in the original words, the original tune, the first parody words, and PJ's words - in the absence of a valid permission from the RESPECTIVE copyrightowners or those deriving title under them.

That is the law. Proof of the facts is another set of issues.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: Blackcatter
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 08:53 PM

Richard - thanks for some clarification. As to U.S. law - there's no need to get an official copyright in the U.S. anymore either.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 09:10 PM

Another thought to consider is the money damages involved. If you could prove that you composed the parody and the other persons had ripped it off and recorded it without substantial change, your typical royalties for a 1000 CD's would be $80 U.S. Have you considered asking him for royalties on the basis of your work?

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: GUEST,,gargoyle
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 11:00 PM

The entire world is now "open source."



Let go....give your blessings and FORGET!



Our musical sources are all to limited.....to claim any as "our original own."



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: Gurney
Date: 05 Oct 04 - 03:55 AM

Go on, write another verse complaining about singers ripping off your parody-version. Then if it gets further you can finish the song with "And s/he even ripped off my complaint..." That should get a laugh.

LOTS of people have claimed to have written Pat Cooksey's 'Barrel of Bricks'(or the other 12 titles) and it irritates him too.

There was a time I used to say "There's an Irish copyright on this song. If anyone pinches it, me and Sean and Mick and Igor are going to beat the bejasus out of him!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: OtherDave
Date: 05 Oct 04 - 09:49 AM

"...As to U.S. law - there's no need to get an official copyright in the U.S. anymore either..."

While I am not an attorney and don't play one on television, I try to keep abreast of intellectual property issues in general and U.S. copyright in particular.

That said, the quoted statement is technically correct but not complete.

Under U.S. law, any work (we'll stick to written work for the sake of discussion) enjoys copyright if it's the fixed, original expression of an idea. This means that as soon as you set pen to paper, or save the copy to disk, the work is "fixed."

It has to be an original expression; you couldn't copyright a list of the birth, death, and term-of-office dates for the presidents of Ireland, say. Or the periodic table of the elements, though Tom Lehrer holds copyright on the arrangement of those terms and on the music for the song he wrote about them.

There is in the U.S. technically no need to put "Copyright 2004 OtherDave" on your work (especially if that's not your name); that requirement disappeared nearly 30 years ago.

However, including the copyright notice, and especially registering the work with the Copyright Office at the Library of Congress, provides the owner of the copyright with additional support for claims of infringement, and can lead to increased penalties against those who infringe.

To say "it's all open source" is to offer an opinion, not a statement of fact. Copying text or images you find on the Internet and assuming they're free to reuse is like taking off in my car because you found the keys in my front door.

Copyright (again, speaking of U.S. law) isn't a single right but a bundle of them -- the right to make copies of a work, the right to distribute copies of a work, the right to create "derivative works," which is part of what's at issue here. For example, if you're a Star Trek fan, you can't write your own novel using characters from the television show. People do this all the time, especially on fan sites, but if someone were to try and market such work, he or she would quickly hear from the copyright holder. Ditto anyone who infringes on copyright held by Disney.

It seems that the chain of events was this:
(a) A standard song about Dublin existed.
(b) Person(s) A, unknown, created a parody of Standard Song.
(c) Person B (PJ) heard this parody (sung by A or possibly by unknown person(s) D).
(d) Person B modified the parody and has sung the modification.
(e) Person E has apparently heard and sung B's modification of A's parody and has issued a CD claiming it as his own work.

I'd say, tough luck, PJ. There's a grey area in U.S. law for parodies (the standards are inconsistent), so the issue hinges on whether you have any claim to ownership for your modification of someone else's parody. It sounds like a derivative of a derivative work.

More to the point, it sounds like you got pipped at the CD-issuing post. You admit "stealing" the parody but are annoyed that someone else "stole" from you. I'm reminded of the apocryphal remark of Steve Jobs, "Just because Bill Gates broke into Xerox's house and stole their stereo doesn't mean I can't break in and steal their TV."

Let it go. Even if you were in the right, and I'm not sure that you are, consider the cost of pursuing an action. In the U.S., you can easily spend $150 - $200 per hour for a lawyer, and you don't have much documentation to show you're the owner of the modified version.

Sometimes it's worth doing, I suppose. The Hill sisters, early in the 20th century, created a version of the children's song Good Morning to You and copyrighted their version, for which they and their estates have received decades of royalties.

You may be familiar with that version. It's Happy Birthday to You, and royalties have come from recordings and from legions of singing-telegram firms.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 05 Oct 04 - 02:22 PM

Just write another song, slagging the bastard who stole your original rip-off. Quote all salient details but don't actually mention his name. Then sing it ALL OVER the place, especially before he sings there.
JohnB :) Ah revenge is sweet. Even do it to one of his tunes if he has written any.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: GUEST,PJ
Date: 05 Oct 04 - 02:49 PM

Hey Guys, I like this site
Those who are informed, and those with fkn good ideas all use this place,

I like the revenge is sweet idea, might put a few words together for a new song alright!!!

Lets remind ourselves that i am not chasing this matter for financial reward or recognition, (though if it comes I won't complain) Because I believe music to be for everyone's enjoyment, although in modern society there has to be a mix I know, with rights, wrongs rules and red tape, shame i think to see a natural privelage, and source of entertainment shackled as it were. I am not up on a high horse, and in fact, I may have agreed to let him record this parody, if he gave me a mention on the Cd inlay, or indeed the original writer

I have yet to find out any info on the orig song or parody to see if either has copywright, and for my own end, I would just like to see this Muse-ish-an put to rights.

Thanks for your input, like i say i will follow through, and keep an eye on this thread. and will post any news here for you

PJ


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: OtherDave
Date: 05 Oct 04 - 07:31 PM

... I have yet to find out any info on the orig song or parody to see if either has copywright...

Hey, PJ:

You'd have to check the situation in your own country, but the principle in the U.S. is that a work automatically enjoys copyright protection. You don't have to do anything to get that -- add the notice, for example. And so there might not be anything to check.

To go into the public domain, a work must have been published prior to 1923, or published since then but in certain (limited) circumstances not had its copyright properly renewed, or else be specifically placed in the public domain by the author. E.g., The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published before 1923, and so you're free to create derivatives of L. Frank Baum's characters. The 1939 film with Judy Garland still enjoys copyright protection, though, so if you were drawing your own Oz characters you'd do well not to have them look like Judy, Bert Lahr, Agnes Moorhead, etc.

F'rinstance, unless I specifically state that this posting (which is a fixed expression of my original ideas) is in the public domain and waive all claim to it, it's not and I don't. (Realistically, I'm not going to pursue action against people who reuse or create derivative works, etc.)

If you do use one of the other fella's tunes, by the way, keep in mind he might hold copyright on the music. Folk tradition is one thing, and so is satire, but you don't want to publish someone else's protected work.

Cheers,
Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Oct 04 - 10:03 PM

Disney has lost most of their copyright "punch." Even school districts were once the object of infringment on "for home use only" however, bad press, and not enough lawyers, or frustrated class-room-aides has stopped their pursuit of "hidden-riches" in the deep pockets of the American School Boreds.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: GUEST,paddymac, temporarily cookieless, again
Date: 05 Oct 04 - 10:28 PM

"F'rinstance, unless I specifically state that this posting (which is a fixed expression of my original ideas) is in the public domain and waive all claim to it, it's not and I don't. (Realistically, I'm not going to pursue action against people who reuse or create derivative works, etc.)"

Dave - nothing wrong with your example as a heuristic device, but, technically, I think anything posted on Mudcat not already copyrighted is copyright by Mudcat. It's an outgrowth of a wee pissing contest with the Harry Foxx "folks" a couple or so years ago.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 11:51 AM

Hey guys, we are talking IRISH copyyright law here. PJ says "Republic of Ireland" in his second or third line.

PJ, join the cat and PM me and I'll introduce you to a former partner of mine who is now resident in Ireland and always was qualified in Ireland, and used to act for Irelands's most famous rock band (no, not Westlife or the Nolans) - if that's recommendation enough. He, being a lawyer, will of course charge you for the work he does.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 03:55 PM

OtherDave:
Or the periodic table of the elements, though Tom Lehrer holds copyright on the arrangement of those terms and on the music for the song he wrote about them.
I think you'll find that Lehrer in turn nicked the tune from Arthur Sullivan. It was The Major General's song from HMS Pinafore.
As Sullivan died in 1900, the best Lehrer can hope for is copyright of his arrangement. The Tune is now 'Public Domain'

Nigel


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: Blackcatter
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 04:12 PM

Now that we all got that cleared up - how 'bout sharing the parody with us?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: GUEST,PJ
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 03:36 PM

I have been contacted by the son of the man who wrote my parody, very interesting, never having met him. He has told me that yes, when his father wrote the parody, he looked into it, and the basic jist of it is..
He was able to copyright the lyrics, but not the air as the air was already affiliated to someone, therefore there is the question of the parody rights, and the air (tune) rights. He apprantly has a lawyer in the family to wise him up on this. (handy huh!!)

This man could only afford a short ish phone call, he is one of the untechnological folk. no mobile. no Computer no house phone, but has given me his address to post my version, wich i have no problem doing as it's mostly his fathers work anyway, and has asked me to secure a copy of this recording, and after thanking me for being so honest about this discrepancy, assured me that once he has the recording, and details he is going to pursue this personally, as the son of the author, now deceased. as the song has never been recorded, royalties have never entered the equation untill now.

Upon recipt of the goods, and any news he will phone or write and tell me the news.

As he seems a decent guy (sit at a bar and talk for hours guy!) I would like on our next conversation to ask his permission to post the song here as requested, That's not too much to ask is it.

When i mentioned this site, his reply was,, erm ya them computer things are real handy if you have one, but christ they's shockin dear to buy ammnt they?????

I'm sure he'd agree to let me share the work, but would rather just get permission first, fair enough!

watch this space..................


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: Blackcatter
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 05:07 PM

Getting permission is a good idea. Do you happen to know the name of the air? Thanks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 08:59 AM

Er- PJ, did you read my remarks above. I'm not touting to work for me or my former partner, but the least you can do is read and understand (or try to understand) what I said. And for about the umpteenth time, no-one can "copyright" anything. Copyright arises automatically.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: Blackcatter
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 10:10 AM

Richard - you can go through the official process of copyrighting things still. Certainly most professionals don't do it anymore, considering their recordings are proof enough, but there have been cases of unreleased/unrecorded songs being "stolen" and copyright has been hard to establish.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 10:17 AM

Richard is making the technical point that one does not "copyright" a work. One REGISTERS the copyright - which exists legally from the point the work is created and set in a permanent form.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: GUEST,PJ
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 01:48 PM

I have today recieved a very brief letter from the son of the author today, wich to conclude this thread (at last) i will relay. Before i do, i would also like to mention that my little singing cowboy, has not played a local gig since i left this thread and here may be why.

Dear PJ

I am writing to inform you of developments regarding the song copywright wich arose a while ago. upon the advice of my family and lawyer friend, we decided to visit your area for a holiday, and we found your entertainer in a local pub. having purchased his CD, we waited till the end of the gig, and then approached him. initially we got his phone number, telling him we were interested in booking him, and then struck with our bombshell, backed up with what evidence we had, and i'm glad to say, he crumbled like a cookie.

after a few meetings, in wich we were very eager to stress that we were only merely protecting my fathers rights, we came to an amicable agreement.
we went back to the studio, had the cd ReMastered without my fathers song, wich was wiped and the original master handed to me, a solicitors letter was exchanged stating he would never again sell a CD with that song on it, and to top it off paid me €x amount for copies already sold.

This was far more than i had actually wanted, but he was happy to do so, so i agreed, we shook hands and parted company.

P.s You're right, i didn't like him either!
______________________________________________________________________

And so mudcatters, i conclude


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: Mudlark
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 04:14 PM

Thanks very much for letting us in on the end of the story!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 03:31 AM

Whoo hooo!!! One for the little guy!!!

I loathe it when people steal my songs. I'm happy enough if I know a performance is being recorded, but there was a case of a woman who took a digital recording at a northern festival singaround. She was then seen touting the homemade CDs around the next day, asking for a £5 payment to 'cover her costs'. I never got to confront her to ask what her costs were, but they sure as hell didn't include paying any performer or any royalties. I only found out when someone asked at another festival a few weeks later, if the song I'd sung earlier had come from her CD.

I'm also happy enough if the resulting recording is given away... I don't ask for payment when I sing, so I don't mind if it's shared for free, but to ask for a payment when there has been no consultation with or payment to the author/artist is just downright rude and possibly illegal.


LTS (checking for hidden microphones now!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 01:56 PM

Liz:
Not 'possibly illegal'. Certainly illegal.
If it was your own song then the thief not only infringed your copyright on the material, but also your rights on the performance, which is a separate matter entirely.
Doubtless someone will shortly quote chapter and verse on the matter. So this is just a short note.

CHEERS

Nigel


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 07:21 PM

My song certainly, the tune was an old 'trad' one, which when you look at it carefully, isn't as 'trad' as it might be!

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 10:18 PM

Sooo....if Weird-Al-Yakovik had elected to record his accordian parodies in an undergroud-restroom of London's Victoria Station - instead of..... the tiled-walled, reverb accoustics of his Lynwood, California High School.......

He would have been a criminal - and not a millionair??????

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

In either case wouldn't it make him a "perv?"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Parody rights????
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 07:44 PM

Ah, but he's a millionaire now and can afford to pay back royalties!

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 3 August 8:20 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.