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  #21  
Old 10 June 2013, 12:55 PM
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Did you look at the Google Books link? The lyrics are specifically copyrighted 2000 by the estate.

Seriously, contact the estate and ask for permission. This guy did.
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  #22  
Old 10 June 2013, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by musicgeek View Post
Did you look at the Google Books link? The lyrics are specifically copyrighted 2000 by the estate.
Yes, I did. I saw that link before the first time when I was researching this question. But works published before 1923 are public domain in the US, aren't they? With very few exceptions.

According to one of my sources, the Levy Sheet Music Collection doesn't show sheet music, only an index entry, for copyrighted songs. But they do show the full sheet music for I'll See You In C-U-B-A and songs that are definitely in the public domain.

http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/catalog/levy:078.045 I"ll See You In C-U-B-A in the Levy Collection[/url]. I clicked on other songs- searched for "Cuba," and didn't get sheet music for some of the songs I clicked on due to copyright restrictions. But not on this song. The lyrics copyrighted by the estate may not be the same ones. A public-domain song may have copyrighted versions. Which doesn't mean that this song is necessarily public domain.

Last edited by Morwen Edhelwen; 10 June 2013 at 01:22 PM.
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  #23  
Old 10 June 2013, 01:03 PM
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Not if the copyright had been renewed within the time period, as Brad mentioned.
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  #24  
Old 10 June 2013, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicgeek View Post
Not if the copyright had been renewed within the time period, as Brad mentioned.
But the thing is, it wasn't AFAIK because the copyright term for this song only lasted for 28 years. Berlin revised this song in 1945 (revision appeared in Blue Skies released in 1946), when it was still in copyright without needing to be renewed. So, he didn't renew it in 1945. He didn't need to. But, checking the acknowledgements page for that book reveals that it says "Copyright Renewed 1951" - a year before that song's copyright expired. I admit I don't know much about Irving Berlin as a person, but from that, renewing a song's copyright just before it's about to fall into public domain sounds plausible for him. I do know that Alexander's Ragtime Band fell into public domain in 1930 under the same law because he didn't renew it in 1929. Anyone know if revisions are still in copyright?

BTW, Alexander's Ragtime Band is listed on the Harry Fox Agency website.

Last edited by Morwen Edhelwen; 10 June 2013 at 01:41 PM.
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  #25  
Old 10 June 2013, 02:10 PM
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Everything I can find says that a work whose first authorized publication was before 1923 is in the public domain. So says Cornell University, Wikipedia, Project Gutenburg, the NIH and many others. Renewals are only relevant for works first published from 1923 through 1963.

I cannot see the Google Books link (not available in this country) but if they are indeed claiming copyright on the version of the song published before 1923, then they would appear to be claiming copyright they don't own. Or the copyright notice is for the collection of lyrics in that book and not necessarily for all the individual songs.

(But, of course, I am not a lawyer.)
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  #26  
Old 10 June 2013, 03:01 PM
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Morwen, why are you struggling so hard to prove it's out of copyright when all you have to do to cover your ass is ask for permission to quote it?

Also, which I don't know if it's different for Australian publishers, but most American ones aren't crazy about quotes that don't come with permissions in hand. They prefer not to deal with the is it or isn't it (public domain) question.

Seoabe
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  #27  
Old 10 June 2013, 04:08 PM
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Apparently, I stand corrected on the renewal of pre-1923 works issue, but in any case the estate claims a 2000 copyright on the lyric. I'd request permission just to cover all the bases.
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  #28  
Old 10 June 2013, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
Morwen, why are you struggling so hard to prove it's out of copyright when all you have to do to cover your ass is ask for permission to quote it?

Also, which I don't know if it's different for Australian publishers, but most American ones aren't crazy about quotes that don't come with permissions in hand. They prefer not to deal with the is it or isn't it (public domain) question.

Seoabe
Because it 'is in public domain. The 1920 version at least.
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  #29  
Old 10 June 2013, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
Small snippets like that is considered fair use, and you don't need permission. Small quotes like that are very common in literature, as flavour text, intro to chapter or just to get something to hang up the story on. No problems with that. Just don't name the book after the song, and you'll be fine.
I wouldn't take copyright advice from Troberg. See the previous discussion on this issue for the complexities involved when quoting song lyrics:

http://msgboard.snopes.com/message/u.../t/000350.html
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  #30  
Old 10 June 2013, 10:07 PM
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Also, Seaboe, have you had experience with this? What was it like?
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  #31  
Old 11 June 2013, 12:23 AM
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And snopes, thanks for the link to the other thread.
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  #32  
Old 11 June 2013, 12:27 AM
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Not Seaboe, but I've had to write for permission to reprint copyrighted lyrics as part of a written publication a few times. Granted, the scope of the publications were extremely limited, but it was a painless process - the last couple have been completed via email. I contacted the copyright holder with a formal request letter explaining the nature of the usage and specifying the length of the excerpt to be quoted. I was sent back a letter granting a non-exclusive license to use the material, with specifications for how to credit the usage and a requirement to send a copy of the finished publication featuring the usage.
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  #33  
Old 11 June 2013, 01:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicgeek View Post
Not Seaboe, but I've had to write for permission to reprint copyrighted lyrics as part of a written publication a few times. Granted, the scope of the publications were extremely limited, but it was a painless process - the last couple have been completed via email. I contacted the copyright holder with a formal request letter explaining the nature of the usage and specifying the length of the excerpt to be quoted. I was sent back a letter granting a non-exclusive license to use the material, with specifications for how to credit the usage and a requirement to send a copy of the finished publication featuring the usage.
I once read an article in the Guardian newspaper by a guy who had to pay a huge amount of money to use some very popular songs in his book. One of them was "I Shot The Sheriff."
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  #34  
Old 11 June 2013, 02:54 AM
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...which could happen, or it could not. In any case, no one can charge you money just for asking.
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  #35  
Old 11 June 2013, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicgeek View Post
...which could happen, or it could not. In any case, no one can charge you money just for asking.
When I get around to it, I'll probably ask just out of courtesy.
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  #36  
Old 11 June 2013, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morwen Edhelwen View Post
Can't find anything by searching under the title.

I believe the song was still in copyright in 1945. It didn't expire until 1948, because originally US copyright lasted for 28 years starting from the year of first publication, and then you could renew it again. I'm pretty sure he just revised the song and it was used in the movie. The revision was automatically copyrighted to Berlin when he did it because ISYIC itself was still in copyright.

BTW, Alexander's Ragtime Band is on HFA as well, and I know that that one's in public domain.
If the revision was automatically copyrighted, that also extended the copyright by 28 years, so that pushes it to 1983.
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  #37  
Old 11 June 2013, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad from Georgia View Post
If the revision was automatically copyrighted, that also extended the copyright by 28 years, so that pushes it to 1983.
That's strange-- one of the sites I found said that stuff published before 1922 in America entered the public domain only in 1996. Of course if the revision is considered separately the verses in the revision will not be out copyright for a long while.
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  #38  
Old 11 June 2013, 02:41 PM
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I've never used quotations, I've just listened to publisher discussions of why they don't like them (as you're coming to know, they're fussy and complicated).

The U.S. has revised its copyright laws a number of times. The two real biggies were the 1909 act (under which a vinyl record couldn't be copyrighted because it can't be read by the naked eye) and the 1976 act, which brought the 1909 act up to date.

The issue of copyright renewals is very complicated, no matter how straight forward any website tells you it is.

While I'm no longer a lawyer (and I wouldn't give legal advice on the web even if I were), I do legal research for a living. Public websites are not where I'd go looking for information. If I had to do it for free, I'd start at the U.S. Copyright Office site, take a gander at the Electronic CFR (Copyrights are in title 27) and possibly even look up the actual laws (not the original act, but the statutes--Copyright is title 17).

Seaboe
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  #39  
Old 11 June 2013, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
While I'm no longer a lawyer (and I wouldn't give legal advice on the web even if I were), I do legal research for a living. Public websites are not where I'd go looking for information. If I had to do it for free, I'd start at the U.S. Copyright Office site, take a gander at the Electronic CFR (Copyrights are in title 27) and possibly even look up the actual laws (not the original act, but the statutes--Copyright is title 17).
The US Copyright Office Circular 15A: Duration of Copyright, says:

Quote:
Applying these standards, all works published in the United States before January 1, 1923, are in the public domain.
A work published in 1922 was subject to the Copyright Act of 1909, which granted a duration of 28 years from publication renewable for a further 28 years. Assuming the copyright was renewed, such a work would originally have been due to fall into the public domain in 1978. However, on January 1, 1978 the Copyright Act of 1976 came into effect while a 1922 work was still in its renewal term. 17 USC 304(b), as introduced by the 1976 Act, stated: (you can see this text in the notes on "Amendments" near the end of the page)

Quote:
The duration of any copyright, the renewal term of which is subsisting at any time between December 31, 1976, and December 31, 1977, inclusive, or for which renewal registration is made between December 31, 1976, and December 31, 1977, inclusive, is extended to endure for a term of seventy-five years from the date copyright was originally secured.
The copyright on a 1922 work was thus extended to expire in 1997.

The "Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act" replaced 17 USC 304(b) with its current text:

Quote:
Any copyright still in its renewal term at the time that the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act becomes effective shall have a copyright term of 95 years from the date copyright was originally secured.
However the Sonny Bono act only became effective on October 27, 1998, by which time a 1922 work had already fallen into the public domain and was no longer in its renewal term.

A work first published in 1921 similarly fell into the public domain in 1996. A work published in 1920 fell into the public domain in 1976 in terms of the 1909 Act, and was not extended by the 1976 Act.
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  #40  
Old 12 June 2013, 03:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htonl View Post
The US Copyright Office Circular 15A: Duration of Copyright, says:



A work published in 1922 was subject to the Copyright Act of 1909, which granted a duration of 28 years from publication renewable for a further 28 years. Assuming the copyright was renewed, such a work would originally have been due to fall into the public domain in 1978. However, on January 1, 1978 the Copyright Act of 1976 came into effect while a 1922 work was still in its renewal term. 17 USC 304(b), as introduced by the 1976 Act, stated: (you can see this text in the notes on "Amendments" near the end of the page)



The copyright on a 1922 work was thus extended to expire in 1997.

The "Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act" replaced 17 USC 304(b) with its current text:



However the Sonny Bono act only became effective on October 27, 1998, by which time a 1922 work had already fallen into the public domain and was no longer in its renewal term.

A work first published in 1921 similarly fell into the public domain in 1996. A work published in 1920 fell into the public domain in 1976 in terms of the 1909 Act, and was not extended by the 1976 Act.
Yay, this song is in public domain!
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