1. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Third-Party Properties

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by lostinwebspace, Nov 27, 2014.

    Say I have chosen to go the self-publishing route. (Note: this isn't a thread on the pros and cons of various publishing methods.) And say I have some third-party stuff--poems, lyrics, quotations, even appearances by licensed characters, what-have-you--I need to get permission to use. How would I go about that?
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Permission is safest. Find out who the rights-owners are and contact them. For music, it is generally pretty easy as you'll find licensing contacts on many of the websites of the rights-owners.

    Fair Use is always a possibility, but it is a riskier route to take because there is no bright-line rule for what is fair use and what is not. Instead, you have a multi-factor test that the courts apply. Brief quotations from a longer work are less risky than something like a fairly substantial excerpt of song lyrics (which tend to be shorter works).
     
  3. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    What if you mention, in context, past or present day people or celebrities? "We were at a Springsteen concert the first time..." " My heart throbbed in unison to the beat of Elvis' Burning Love as she began her sultry walk away from the juke box..."
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    That sort of thing isn't a problem. The song title isn't protected by copyright to begin with, and passing references to elements of pop culture like this are common. It's when you use excerpts of actual works, include characters protected by copyright, or (depending on what you're doing) incorporate certain trademarks into your work that you start running into issues.
     
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  5. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    I can probably dig up the address on my own, but where would I go about getting a form letter to send to the property owners? And how long can I expect to wait for a response?
     
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I did a little digging (very little - you can probably google this much more effectively yourself) and it looks like a lot of rights-holders have their own forms they want filled out, so you might have to figure out who holds the rights first, and then figure out the format of the request.

    Good information here: http://www.wiley.com/legacy/authors/guidelines/stmguides/3frames.htm

    Letter template here: http://copyright.lib.utexas.edu/permmm.html

    As to how long you should expect to wait? As I understand it, you should expect to wait a while, and expect to be charged a fair bit, at least by some artists. There's a reason why a lot of people write their own song lyrics or avoid including them altogether. Getting permissions can be a pain in the ass.
     

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