Saturday, July 4, 2015

Playing Fair with Music Lyrics

There's only one way
      to publish favorite lyrics
for money
      and that's critical review
according to Copyright Act
      section 107

What's said and used must
       be transformative
not merely derivative
        according to U.S. courts

If changing Woo Hoo, woo hoo hoo
        from the 5, 6, 7, 8s
to Wooo Whooo, Wooo Whooo
        that's merely derivative

But if saying "I never heard
        such a stupid thing as Woo Hoo,"
that's opinion
        which can't be challenged

Even tho
        I've probably called it out
once or twice hailing a friend
        but women seem to do that
more than men
        or is it "You Who?"

Whether publishing opinion
       for commercial gain
or not

So here goes, although
       admitting I hate
criticizing popular music or
       classic rocks favorites

Don't like callin' out
       musicians and singers
they work hard and good
        at what they write and sing and play
so deserve their
        sweat from labors
and box office proceeds

Sing along and hum and tap with
       Billy Joel and the
       Beatles and
Stones songs for three

Each free on MS Media Player
       every morn

But can't sell any, any, lyrics
      to make money for me,
that would be illegal
      would get sued for sure
because record labels and Tom Petty
       are ruthless

They sued Robin Thicke
       and Pharrell Williams
just to name two who lost
       over three stupid notes
to "earn" free money for
       lawyers and studios

Publishing one's exact words
      a big "No no"
causing loss of assets
      for sure
as other writers horror stories
      by Writers Beware shows

We're forced to ask some
       unknown or most popular
author or publisher for
       permission

Hard to get easily
      for all the hullabaloo and
          woo hoo,
these assholes cause

Original prose poem by Rodney Richards 7-4-15


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