Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Anyone with knowledge in law, music, copyright, and/or intellectual rights out there? For I have a question.

I have a new idea for a novel turning about in my head. It would center around a theatre production of a musical, though would really be about the interactions between some of the participants. I was thinking of a play by Sondheim in particular. I wouldn't make fun of the play; I like it, and would represent it in a flattering light. There would be rampant use of character names and lines and lyrics. I'd mention Sondheim by name; there would be no question that he wrote it, not me. So, do I need permission to use it, or is it decidedly "fair use" to do something like this? If I do need permission, who do I ask? Would I have to pay for it?

If I have to pay, then really, I'm just going to scrap the whole idea.


Jul. 26th, 2004 07:46 pm (UTC)
Re: safe than sorry
True story: I wanted to use four lines from T. S. Eliot's "Four Quartets" in a book. Not only did I have to ask for permission, but they wanted money up from AND a percentage of my royalties.

Hell wit' dat, sez I; I made something up instead.

I would not assume that just because you ask ahead of time that they wouldn't charge you. It will just make it easier for them to track you down. Otoh, if you don't ask ahead of time, you're setting yourself up for an infringement lawsuit. And your publisher will not defend you, because when you sign your contract, you affirm that you haven't infringed anyone.

Not worth the trouble. Make something up.
Jul. 26th, 2004 07:47 pm (UTC)
Re: safe than sorry
up front. Not "up from."

Tyops R Us.
Jul. 28th, 2004 08:24 am (UTC)
Re: safe than sorry
Ugh, what a nuisance! Yes, I'm starting to think making something up is a better idea. I get full control over the material then anyway.