1. Stinger
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    Stinger Senior Member

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    Asking for your advice

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Stinger, Jun 10, 2008.

    Well, the fact is, I've never been truly a lyricist. One of my friends wanted to start a band and I just composed something for him. After about a year, I now have 13 lyrics. I didn't want to publish them, but right now for personal reasons I'm in urge to begin publishing either in America or in UK. (I'm Iranian).

    Now my question is, is it fit to publish 13 lyrics as a book? The whole book would be at most 20 pages.

    P.S. It's good to be back! I hope nobody died while I was away.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't see any good purpose for spending money on that... and no paying publisher will take it on...

    you say you 'composed' something... do you mean you wrote both the lyrics and the music?... or did he write the music?...

    you need to get the lyrics set to music and recorded, if you want to make any money from them... then you send out the demo tapes to music publishers and major performers, to see if you can sell the songs...

    if you do go ahead and self-publish this, i can't see anyone wanting to buy a book of just lyrics... and whatever songs you wrote for your friend are no longer just your own, if he wrote the music...

    i'm a lyricist [former member of sga] and will be glad to take a look at your work, if you want...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  3. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    Yeah that's what I was gonna say. If the lyrics are entirely yours you can try and send them individually to record companies. Lots of artists have their songs written for them. But i have no idea how you would go about this.
     
  4. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are two primary reasons to "publish" your lyrics:

    1) For the copyright protection so nobody can steal them;

    2) To attract musicians who would then use your lyrics (for compensation) in their music.

    As far as #1, here is the information provided by the US government for Copyright Registration for Musical Compositions:

    http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ50.html

    As you can see, it is easy to protect your writing. The problem is enforcement. If you have to sue for infringement, it will cost you a lot of money. If you are lucky enough that the thief hits it big with the song, then you can probably find a decent attorney who will take your case on a contingency.

    As far as #2, there are numerous websites on the internet that encourage writers to post their lyrics for musicians to read and develop into songs.

    There is one other matter...as mammamaia pointed out...of who "owns" what. My son was a successful musician for many years. He wrote all their lyrics and maintained ownership, but the "band" wrote the music and when they signed with a major label, the band got a bit upset that he received separate compensation for his lyrics.

    .....NaCl

    BTW - if you are interested in his music, the band dissolved a while back and their fans made all of the music available to download free at:

    http://www.quitterarmy.com

    My favorites are: Liberation Day, Gunfighter, Hawking (written for physicist Stephen Hawking) and Mayday Transmission (there is a hidden track at 11:15 into this song)
     
  5. pip
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    pip Member

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    Stinger,

    If you wrote the lyrics from within Iran then I suggest you read this link.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_and_copyright_issues

    If you are serious about publishing I suggest you seek local legal advice.

    kind regards

    pip
     
  6. Stinger
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    Stinger Senior Member

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    Maybe I can just publish them as poetry. What about that?

    Maya, would be an honor.

    NaCl, I'll listen to them when I have access to ADSL internet.

    Pip, unfortunately I can't protect my work and that's for sure.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you can certainly submit them to magazines that publish poetry, if you think they work as poems...

    looking forward to seeing your work...

    of course you can!... you can register your existing copyright with the us copyright office, in case you want to market your work in the us... since you write in english, that's not out of the question, right?... and besides, your work is automatically copyrighted as soon as it's complete and exists in a reproducible form, in any country that's a signatory to the berne convention... check out the rules 'n regs here:

    www.copyright.gov
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/treaties/berne/overview.html
     
  8. pip
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    pip Member

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    mammamaia Iran is not a signatory to the Berne Convention. The law which has jurisdiction is the copyright laws of Iran. I suggest you read the link I provided above.

    or
    http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/SearchForm.jsp?search_what=C
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there are other agreements in force there, pip... and i don't think iran's non-signatory status in re the berne convention per se would preclude his registering his copyright in the us and enjoying protection of some sort, at least...

    in any case, our opinions are moot, as none of us are literary attorneys, and he should consult one for the actual letter of the law in his case...
     
  10. pip
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    pip Member

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    mammamaia I have a law degree and an arts degree. I studied copyright law at university and private international law, this is why I suggested that stinger seek local legal advice. Please don't be so condescending of others remarks in future.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't see where i was being 'condescending' in re anyone else's remarks... i was merely expressing my opinion, as you did yours... and we both advised consulting attorneys, so i don't see what you're getting upset over... i'm sorry if you took anything i said that way, but no offense was intended... let's not quibble, when we both are here to be helpful, ok?
     

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