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Q: Songs in the public domaine ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Question  
Subject: Songs in the public domaine
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Music
Asked by: morage-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 13 May 2004 18:06 PDT
Expires: 12 Jun 2004 18:06 PDT
Question ID: 346092
I'd like to know whether the folling songs are in the public domaine:
Blue Moon
Scotch and Soda
The Girl From Glasgow Town

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 13 May 2004 20:22 PDT
Hello morage-ga,

I can give you a clear-cut, definitive answer on the first two songs.  

But the best I can do on "Girl From Glasgow Town" is take a
well-educated guess.  Actual information on the status of this song
(whether copyrighted or in the public domain) -- is pretty elusive.

I will unlock this question, on the (unlikely, I think) chance that
another researcher can provide you a definite answer on all three
songs.

But if no one else answers the question after a while, please let me
know if you would like me to provide an answer as I described above.

Cheers.



pafalafa-ga

Clarification of Question by morage-ga on 14 May 2004 03:10 PDT
I'd like to know whether the folling songs are in the public domaine:
Blue Moon - written, I believe before WWI. Some lyrics: Blue Moon, I'm
no longer alone without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own.

Scotch and Soda - written, I believe, in 1932. Preformed by a number
of singers, most notably I think, by the Kingston Trio in the 1960's.

The Girl From Glasgow Town - Oops - should be Toon instead of Town.
Sung by Scot Andy Stewart (Donald Where's yer Troosers) - the one who
has passed away, not by the current Scottish singer of the same name.

Lyrics to these songs are included in my book. My publisher must know
whether I can actually use them.

Thank You,
Morag
Answer  
Subject: Re: Songs in the public domaine
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 14 May 2004 07:57 PDT
 
Hello morage-ga,

Copyright is an amazingly complex, cumbersome, Byzantine system that
-- even in this wonderful Age of Information of ours -- is
inordinately difficult to research.

Finding a "hit" in a copyright database (I found almost 300 hits for
"Blue Moon") doesn't necessarily mean that the lyrics of the song are
protected by copyright, and that you would need permission to
reproduce them in your book.

On the other hand, failing to get a hit doesn't mean the work is copyright-free.

However, with a bit of detective work I was able to get a pretty good
reading on all three of the works you asked about.

Unfortunately, for you, they all appear to be protected by current
copyright.  I've included information below about who to contact for
permission to  reproduce the lyrics of these songs.

I've also provided some details on my search results below, along with
links you can use if you care to do any of your own searching on
copyright status.

Before rating this answer, please let me know if anything here is
unclear, or if you need additional information.  Just post a Request
for Clarification and I'll be happy to assist you further.

And of course, congratulations on nearing publication of your book...!

pafalafa-ga


==========

The U.S. Library of Congress is the nation's repository of copyright
information.  In case you're interested, their main page for the
Copyright Office -- with a lot of basic information on how copyrights
work, how to search, etc -- can be seen here:

http://www.copyright.gov/

and their database for searching for existing copyrights for books,
music, etc. can be found here:

http://www.copyright.gov/records/cohm.html

If you click on the "Title" button, you can search for song titles,
which is what I did for the three songs you asked about.
The results are as follows:


==========

BLUE MOON

Blue Moon has several hundred copyrights.  This is not unusual for a
popular piece of music, since each recording or arrangement of the
song is subject to an inidividual copyright, as is protection for the
lyrics, for printed sheet music, for videos that include the song, and
so on.


The copyrights pertaining to specific recordings probably aren't
germane to your situation, since you're not proposing to copy a
recording, but only to reproduce the written lyrics.

The two copyrights that are probably most relevant to your situation appear to be:



Registration Number:    PA-125-650  
Title:    Blue moon : mezzo soprano solo / by Rodgers and Hart ; arr.
and orchestrated by John Green.
Imprint:    [s.l.] : Robbins Music Corp., c1978. 
Note:    Score. 
Created:    approx. 1935 
Published:    1Jan78  
Registered:    16Dec81 
Author on  Application:    music: Richard Rodgers; words: Lorenz
Hart; orchestra arr.: Maritime Enterprises, Inc., employer for hire.
Previous Related Version:    Prev. reg. 1934. 

-----

Registration Number:    RE-529-982  
Title:    Blue moon. w Lorenz Hart & Richard Rodgers, arr.
acMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., employer for hire of Richard Maltby.
Claimant:    [Author and claimant] Turner Entertainment Company
[Proprietor of copyright in a work made for hire]
Effective Registration Date:    1Apr91 
Original Registration Date:    12Dec63; 

-----

Note that the first copyright references the original copyright
registration of the composition in 1934; the second appears to be
broadly cast (i.e., not specific to a particular recording or
arrangement) and is held by Turner Entertainment.


-----


A similar type of search can be conducted at ASCAP -- American Society
of Composers, Authors and Publishers -- which holds the licensing
information for hundreds of thousands of songs:


http://www.ascap.com/ace/search.cfm?mode=search


The ASCAP search is particularly useful because they not only list the
writers and performers of Blue Moon, but also provide contact
information for licensing/use requests:


BLUE MOON      
Title Code: 320064944

Publishers/Administrators:
  EMI ROBBINS CATALOG INC 
    % EMI APRIL MUSIC INC 
    C/O EMI MUSIC PUBLISHING 
    810 SEVENTH AVE 
    NEW YORK , NY, 10019
    Tel. (212) 830-2036


If you give EMI a call, their phone message menu will walk you through
the steps of requesting permission to rerpoduce lyrics in your book.


==========


SCOTCH AND SODA


A similar search for "Scotch and Soda" turns up several songs by this
title, but the one you're looking for is the old Kingston Trio version
(the tune of which I'll be humming all day now, thank you very much!)
and it shows up at the Copyright Office as follows:



Scotch and Soda



Registration Number:    RE-321-673  
Title:    Scotch and soda. w & m caDave Guard. 
Claimant:    Dave Guard [Author] 
Effective Registration Date:    12Jan87 
Original Registration Date:    30Mar59; 



Registration Number:    RE-485-799  
Title:    Scotch and soda. By acDavid Guard. 
Claimant:    David Guard [Author] 
Effective Registration Date:    25Jul90 
Original Registration Date:    2Apr62; 



This appears to be a very straightforward copyright claim -- these
lyrics are not in the public domain.


The David Guard song doesn't show up in the ASCAP database, but over
at BMI, the other major song licensing service in the US, we find the
following:


http://www.bmi.com/search/



SCOTCH AND SODA     
BMI Work #1300828
Songwriter/Composer
GUARD DAVE
Publishers
BEECHWOOD MUSIC CORPORATION

and the contact information at Beechwood is:

BEECHWOOD MUSIC CORPORATION     
Phone:  (212) 830-5198 
Fax:  (212) 830-5196 
Contact: BEECHWOOD MUSIC CORPORATION 
 C/O SCREEN GEMS-EMI MUSIC INC 
 ATTN LINDA SANTIAGO 
 EMI MUSIC PUBLISHING 
 810 SEVENTH AVENUE 
 NEW YORK, NY 10019-5818 


Get in touch with them at the above contact information to ask about
lyric reproduction rights.


==========


THE GIRL FROM GLASGOW TOWN


Lastly, I searched for both "The Girl from Glasgow Town" and ""The
Girl from Glasgow Toon".  Neither title shows up at the Copyright
Office, or at BMI, but it is listed in the ASCAP database:


Girl From Glasgow Town


GIRL FROM GLASGOW TOWN     
Title Code: 370091277
  
  Writers:
   MAC FADYEN IAIN A 
   STEWART ANDREW  

along with a note to: contact ASCAP Clearance representative at
(212)621-6160 for other publisher information.



I spoke with the ASCAP representative who told me that this title
"appeared to be protected" in terms of its lyrics, as well as for
specific recordings.  However, to confirm this, you would need to
contact the license holder in the UK which is Lochside Publishing, as
represented by the Performing Right Society -- PRS -- in London (this
is the UK equivalent of ASCAP and BMI).

The PRS process doesn't appear to be as straightforward as it is in
the US, so you'll have to contact them to work out the steps involved.
 You can find additional information about PRS licensing, including
contact information, at:

http://www.prs.co.uk/musiclicence/



==========

Once again, let me know if you need any additional information.  


Best of luck,

pafalafa-ga
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