Unsure of the procedure to obtain copyright permissions in this scenario
March 13, 2013 3:23 PM   Subscribe

Okay, so I've composed a bunch of music to go with selections from a book of short stories, and things are coming together and I've started to perform & record them. They're mostly 1-2 minutes and the idea is that I'd record myself reading them along with the music; think of something along he lines of Ken Nordine's work. Anyways, it's just something I've been doing for fun, creativity for the sake of creativity and all that. But as it's finally coming together, I have an urge, naturally, to share it with people, at which point legal considerations arise.

YANML, I understand that. Here's my situation:

The author is dead, and I've searched here to find that the current copyright holder is Random House. But I think it's just the copyright for the translated work, I can't find any information about the original (Spanish). Anyways, I've found Random House's permissions request forms. First, am I right in assuming the "musical setting permissions" category is the one most applicable to me? or Audio? Also, is the usual procedure with this kind of thing to get a record label interested before requesting permission? I ask because in that form there is a field for Music Publisher. Also not sure what "territory needed" means in that form.
I mean, my original plan was just to release it freely online, I don't really care about making any money off of it, but I'm also pretty proud of it and want to share it. I've also thought about making short animations to go along with a few of them, and posting them on Youtube or something.
Do you think they (Random House) would be more or less likely to accept my request if I had a record label involved of if it's just some random girl with perhaps too much time on her hands wanting to share something she made with friends and such without having to worry about getting sued? I'd welcome any sort of advice and sharing of experiences with anything like this.

Am I over-thinking this? I know there's at least one video on Youtube of one of these stories, and nothing to indicate they got any special permissions. Is the most likely scenario, if I did post it online somewhere, Random House would probably just ask me to remove the content? I really think that is the most likely, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Also, do you think it's likely for them to actually grant it or is it a long-shot anyway?
posted by mingo_clambake to Law & Government (1 answer total)
Are you performing them publicly and/or putting them online? You might not get caught, but then again, you might get a cease and desist letter. You can't tell from the other YouTube post--they might have permission, they might not.

When did the author die? If the author lived in the EU, the copyright extends for 70 years after death. Is the translator alive? Are you using the translation or the original work?

If this was your creative work, how would you like someone to use it? If you want to create this and perform it in your living room, I think you're probably fine. But putting it online isn't the same as "sharing with friends."
posted by Ideefixe at 4:50 PM on March 13, 2013

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