Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hotter Than Hell: A Motley Copyright (Licensing) Quiz

MusicBizAdvice.com staffers were singing this over the weekend:

[Sung to the tune of "Louder than Hell" by Motley Crue]

L.A. is hotter than hell
L.A. is hotter than hell
Oo I don't like it
I Don't like it
It's heeeeeeell!

(Nikki Sixx and his co-horts got the hell out of dodge to their gig in Canada just in time, by the way...Once again, they escape by the skin of their teeth! No, I don't know Mr. Sixx personally; I just thought it was ironic.)

Really, this is worse than Phoenix (and is one of the many reasons why I left)...At least in Phoenix everyone has central air when it's 112 out. I don't know what's going on, but I've lived in So. Cal off and on since 1980, and L.A. is definitely hotter, and hotter more often, than it used to be. What's up with that?

Still, I love, love, love this town. Only in L.A. in the midst of a power outtage in a heat wave can you hang out with good friends and a news crew comes to your door asking to film the inside of your fridge. (I'm not into being on camera and had no perishables in my fridge so I abstained, but my friends had a lot fun being on the Channel 7 news.)

Copyright (licensing)Pop Quiz: Ten points if you know what kind of licensing / permissions would have been needed, and from whom, if the above MusicBizAdvice.com staffers had been performing their version of "Hotter than Hell" live for an audience, or if they'd planned to record and release a studio version (God forbid).

Twenty more points if you knew that reprinting lyrics requires licensing / permissions as well.** 10 more if you knew that because only a small portion of the lyrics were used here AND were used in the context of an educational discussion, their use in this blog entry falls under the Fair Use exemption of the Copyright Act.

So, what's your score? Answers are in Darcie-Nicole Wicknick's MusicBizadvice.com article, "Publishing and Royalties 101: The Nuts and Bolts of Songwriting Income".

**Yes, I know some of you will try to argue that people reprint lyrics all the time without paying for them. I'm just here to offer you the facts so you have information that can help you. What you do with those facts, or whether or not you choose to use them at all is up to you. Ignoring something doesn't make it cease to exist.

Sorry about the rambling entry. It was take 2 after another power outtage this afternoon wiped out the first draft just as I was finishing the last paragraph.

I'm off to get water...

Stay cool,