Sometime in the past, most of us have had to write a term paper or some other important piece where we sited resources and gave credit to others when quoting another. I've always enjoyed research and finding the exact knowledge I needed to prove my point, I considered part of the writing process. In my first book, Memories Trail, I did a plethora of research and have a bibliography at the end of my book. I gave credit where credit was due.
But the music industry doesn't think that is enough. We can't simply state who the lyrist is, or give credit to a group for their song if we wish to use a line of their song in our work. We can't use anything of any song except the title without written permission. Copyright laws prohibit anyone from using a familiar line, even with credit to the songwriters. In essence, songwriters, vocal artists and others in the music industry do not play well with others!
I'm sure it's because they have extensive degrees and have studied music from famous composers such as Bach, Beethoven and Mozart and were given personal permission to steal, er, excuse me, use their fundamental melodies in contemporary music.
So, let's see, songwriters string a few words together to a great beat not always their own, and then throw a fit when someone wants to use said lyrics in a book and give them credit for the ten word line? Yeah, I'd be upset over the free publicity too. I'd run to my lawyer and cry, "make them stop!" I wouldn't want anyone quoting me, using my hard earned work and telling others about my song.
Please understand, I don't wish the music industry ill, but I'm tired of catering to certain "cultures" and being forced to conform to unrealistic standards. No one wants to be ripped off. I get that! But if someone is willing to give a songwriter credit, is respectful of the content of the song, then where or where is the harm in that? How is this different than when writing a term paper the writer gives a scientist credit for his life-long work? Or crediting a historian for documenting a series of events? Or quoting someone famous, "ask not what your country can do for you ..."
The music industry needs to wake up to the fact that not everyone wants to abuse them. Some of us actually want to do good by sharing a line or two of some great song and thereby enhancing a story and educating a reader. Whether the songwriters want to admit it or not, we writers all live in the same sandbox, using the same words, over and over and over. The difference is, most writers comprehend the fact that once a book is sold and money is exchanged, we don't know if our words, our book will be found in a library, resold at a garage sale, quoted from or swamped for another book. It doesn't matter how many copies are out there, it doesn't matter what happens to them. We've been paid. It's done. What happens after the sale is not our business.
Why is this so difficult for songwriters to comprehend?
Til next time ~