Friday, September 13, 2013
Wants To Use Lyrics in Academic Book
Will your descendants get cease and desist letters? Assuming you proceed with the music publisher permission, we don't think you'll need to worry about your descendants getting hassled. We could be wrong, but in our experience music publishers are not particularly diligent about following up, particularly when the permission is tied to distribution quotas. Music publishers tend to rely on the kindness of licensees -- that is they hope that licensees will be diligent and honest and report when they've exceeded the sales ceiling. When it comes to "small" permission deals, music publishers are primarily concerned with the initial payment.
Fair use/fair dealing. U.K. and U.S. copyright law differ over the issue of fair use (in the the U.K. the term fair dealing is used). Fair dealing is much more limited and according to our limited knowledge of British law, would not apply in your case. We think you have a reasonable fair use claim under U.S. law, but we don't want you to have to go to court to prove it. Therefore, if the permission payment is not exorbitant, we'd recommend -- for your sake, your publisher's best interest, and your reader's covenience -- that you pursue the license arrangement.