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Re: [vox] [OT] Text, okay to quote. Lyrics? Pay up!
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Re: [vox] [OT] Text, okay to quote. Lyrics? Pay up!

I think it's the proportionality of the copyrighted text that is being
quoted.  You can quote XX% of the work without royalty or something of
that sort.  If you consider the song lyrics as a poem (which many of them
are, though not all), then it becomes purely a percentage game of just the
lyrics, not the whole lyric + music.

$4/word sounds extreme, but it depends on the audience size.  If your
audience is big enough and you're making profit off of them, that's
reasonable considering you're quoting a popular work during its heights.
87 words * $4.02/word = $350 to quote a popular song during its heights in
a widely published magazine would be perfectly reasonable.  You can't
charge $4/word for a magazine article because articles are generally
longer than a song, and the potential audience (the "demand" part of
"supply and demand") is smaller.  But if that's how much they charge for a
small audience or for non-profiting work (ie., fan club) then it's
unreasonable, in which case don't use the lyrics -- it's not worth
supporting unreasonable label or its band.

You may quote 10% of this e-mail without royalty.  If you quote any more,
please send your payments of $0.10 per word to:



On Fri, 26 Nov 2004, Bill Kendrick wrote:

> D'oh! An egregious abuse of Fair Use
> http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20041122-4414.html
>   "As you may know, in most contexts, it is perfectly legal to cite
>   and/or quote another copyrighted work without financial consideration.
>   "'I was not required to fork over a single dime to quote from /The Simpsons/
>   itself, nor to quote at length from Tony Hendra's excellent book
>   /Going Too Far/, nor to quote from Foucault or Mark Twain or David
>   Foster Wallace.  But to use 87 words from the collected lyrics of
>   Radiohead?  Three hundred and fifty simoleons.  Roughly $4.02 per
>   word.  (Which, incidentally, is more than double the highest amount
>   I've ever been /paid/ per word to write for a magazine or newspaper.)'
>   "The mind blowing aspect of this is, of course, the music industry's
>   hubris.  Why is it that I can quote hundreds and hundreds of words from
>   academic authors who have the same copyright protections as the music
>   industry, and yet I have to pay nothing?  Why does a few dozen words of
>   lyrics require /payment/?"
> Sheesh
> -bill!
> bill@newbreedsoftware.com                               Have I been helpful?
> http://newbreedsoftware.com/    http://svcs.affero.net/rm.php?r=billkendrick
> _______________________________________________
> vox mailing list
> vox@lists.lugod.org
> http://lists.lugod.org/mailman/listinfo/vox

Mark K. Kim
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