Is it stealing ?

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songmaster
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Is it stealing ?

Post by songmaster » Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:42 am

I was wondering if it is stealing others property, if I take a line out of a published poem and use it as a title for a whole song ? I remember Kenny Chesney did a song called "You Had Me At Hello", inspired from the movie Jerry McGuire . Did he ask permission?

Anyway, just wondering.

Tom

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cosmicdolphin
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Re: Is it stealing ?

Post by cosmicdolphin » Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:10 am

I don't think so

Lots of things that reference other things.....The Killers got their name from a made up band that appear in a New Order video

Shakespear's Sister are named after a Smith's song

I'm sure that there are tons of songs that take titles form other places

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Re: Is it stealing ?

Post by funsongs » Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:12 am

songmaster wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:42 am
I was wondering if it is stealing others property, if I take a line out of a published poem and use it as a title for a whole song ? I remember Kenny Chesney did a song called "You Had Me At Hello", inspired from the movie Jerry McGuire . Did he ask permission?

Anyway, just wondering.

Tom
Good question... the difference between registering the copyright of a 'body of work', vs. registering a trademark for a phrase or title: such as an advertising slogan.
I 'steal' (parody?) good lines and phrases all the time... to work them into a lyric or build a story around them.
I'd say you are 'safe and in open waters'... but I'd like to read what others have to state about it.
Maybe a good question for TAXI TV/QHH Friday episode?
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Re: Is it stealing ?

Post by hummingbird » Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:00 am

songmaster wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:42 am
I was wondering if it is stealing others property, if I take a line out of a published poem and use it as a title for a whole song ? I remember Kenny Chesney did a song called "You Had Me At Hello", inspired from the movie Jerry McGuire . Did he ask permission?

Anyway, just wondering.

Tom
A line from a published poem used verbatim would be copyright depending when that poem was published. Shakespeare, for example, is in the Public Domain. Sylvia Plath became PD in 2014, I believe. Something published in the last 50 years is copyright, and it would probably be adviseable to avoid using a copyrighted phrase as the title of a song that might be itself published or broadcast. Putting ourselves, our publisher or music library or end user in the position of having to deal with a copyright claim is to be avoided at all costs.

Caveat - this is just my opinion. I am not a lawyer.
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Re: Is it stealing ?

Post by AlanHall » Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:49 pm

There's a lot of gray area. An idea, like a song title, cannot be copyrighted. Level 42 took their name from an Anthony Burgess book, where Level 42 was a fictitious band's name no less! If the line from the poem is tied to the poem's identity, it would put you in hot water for sure. If it's a 'throwaway line' and not immediately recognizable from the source, you could probably get away with it. And if you're not worth suing, then you're likely OK.

It would never hurt to ask permission. I wrote to Arthur C. Clarke once, hoping he'd pen a paragraph or two based on one of his novels that I could use to introduce a symphonic tone poem that I composed in school. He declined, but replied with a very nice note. I've kept it for over 40 years!

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Re: Is it stealing ?

Post by davidr » Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:16 pm

Years ago I read a poem titled "The Pripet Marshes". I liked the style and the story of the poem. It inspired me to compose a purely instrumental piece based on the story, and I gave it the same title. Then I sent a recording of the music to the poet, and I think he appreciated it.

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Re: Is it stealing ?

Post by songmaster » Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:08 am

Thanks everyone for your suggestions! It sounds like I would be treading into an ify area, so I think I will stick to looking for original ideas and maybe try "thinking outside the box" oops I did it again :lol:

Tom

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Re: Is it stealing ?

Post by cosmicdolphin » Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:56 am

songmaster wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:08 am
oops I did it again :lol:
That title's already taken

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Re: Is it stealing ?

Post by songmaster » Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:36 am

Good one :lol: Sorry Brittany :cry:

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Re: Is it stealing ?

Post by AlanHall » Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:12 am

I just watched a TED talk where the speaker described letting procrastination take us to a 'dark playground' filled with anxiety and regret.
"Dark Playground" WILL be a cue title. Soon. I hope. ;)

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