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Credit to the band (Read 375 times)
darmenne
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Credit to the band
May 25th, 2010, 8:14am
 
Got a question for those of you wise in the art of writing.  

I'd like to add a few lyrics from a famous song to the beginning of my short story, ala Stephen King.  

1. Is there a convention or format to adhere to when doing this?  
2. Do I have to write a trademark symbol or seek permission in order to publish in an e-zine or short story contest?  
3. If it is a cover version with slightly different lyrics, whom do I credit? Original, both?

Appreciate the advice,
luke
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Gary A. Markette
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Re: Credit to the band
Reply #1 - May 25th, 2010, 8:34am
 
This is an interesting question with many possible answers. King gets away with quoting song lyrics as intros to his stories because he's Stephen King--most bands would be pleased at the public exposure. When you get as influential and well known as he, you can probably quote with impunity as well. Until then, do some homework. Most copyrighted material allows brief, attributed quotes. Find out if the work you want to use does so. Check the publisher's contact info and get in touch with them. They can also give you attribution information.

Just an FYI: a trademark is not the same as a copyright. Trademarks typically protect brand names and the holders of same can be quite snippy if you violate them. That's why you sometimes see awkward phrasings like "Kleenex (TM) Brand Facial Tissue" instead of just "Kleenex." Unless you're sure you won't be violating someone's trademark, be as generic as possible (use "Cola" for "Coke" or "Pepsi").

Finally, in an ezine or short story contest, the editor is ultimately responsible for avoiding these sorts of issues. Usually, the audience for these things is so small and the money involved (if any) so slight that only the principal of intellectual property is at stake. Some of us editors do take that seriously and will adjust any story that steps out of bounds.

Thanks for an interesting question. Good luck with your story.
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Adrienne_Ray
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Re: Credit to the band
Reply #2 - May 31st, 2010, 3:32pm
 
I have a similar question: a few years ago, I wrote a poem about my home town. It was published in Static Movement on line. Recently, I have decided to publish it myself and sell it here as a souvenir.
I mention the local radio station and a popular show on said station. Do I need permission from that station to use it in the poem? They probably didn't read it on Static but they will surely see it if I sell it in the tourist spots.
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