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Discussion Starter #1
Hypothetical - suppose you want to publish a solo in which the soloist quotes melodies from other tunes (say a sonny rollins solo), do you need to get permission from the copyright holder of those other tunes that are quoted?
 

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dohertyjazz said:
Hypothetical - suppose you want to publish a solo in which the soloist quotes melodies from other tunes (say a sonny rollins solo), do you need to get permission from the copyright holder of those other tunes that are quoted?
I don't know for sure but if it's just a snatch of melody, I doubt that it would be a problem. Why not ask the publisher? Again, I don't know for sure but I think you should ask the soloist's permission to publish before you worry too much about who he/she is qouting in the solo ( but maybe you have already). Correct me if I'm wrong about that.
 

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I am definitely planning to get permission from the artist, I think I have to anyways. I would like to have an interview with him anyways so I might as well.

I know it seems, at least to me, that it would be silly to be required to need permission from so many people to publish one single transcription but copyright is copyright and the system can be pretty messed up. Here is an excerpt from an interview on Libby Larson's website concerning her piece "Holy Roller" that I think is relevant.

S: I have spoken with Dr. Paul Bro and he gave me a brief insight into the development of this piece. He mentioned that originally you wanted to use the first five notes of “I Fall to Pieces” but Sony would not release the rights.
LL: This is true. I am a big fan of Patsy Cline’s music. Her melodic inventiveness epitomizes my belief that a culture’s music springs from that culture’s language(s). Patsy Cline’s words and pitches cannot be separated -- they are perfectly blended, as if they were conceived at one and the same time.

I wanted to deconstruct the melody from “I Fall to Pieces,” but Sony would not release the rights. I suppose I could have legally used the first five notes: 5,6,5,5 (8va), 5 (8va), but they would not have been enough to give me the material for the piece. I really needed the first twelve melodic notes to make the case, since the tonic is not included.
 

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I know it seems, at least to me, that it would be silly to be required to need permission from so many people to publish one single transcription but copyright is copyright and the system can be pretty messed up.
Basically, yeah.

Especially since you seem to make this out as a commercial endeavor, you ought to take the carefull route and secure permission from any work still under copyright protection. As for using the notes of the Rollings piece without permission, "Fair Use" may or may not have covered it, but to be sure you would essentially have to have it tested in court one way or another. Certainly, a PITA.

Disclaimer: Not a lawyer, I just talk a lot.
 

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Did the soloist have to pay royalties after he recorded the solo with the quote in it? I'm guessing he didn't. Improvisation is spur of the moment and often times a soloist can't help it if he spontaneously quotes a song. The difference between an improvised solo and a composition like in your example is premeditation.

So, if he doesn't have to pay royalties for quoting a few bars of "Tenor Madness", why should the published transcription of that solo have to?
 

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Agent27 said:
Did the soloist have to pay royalties after he recorded the solo with the quote in it? I'm guessing he didn't. Improvisation is spur of the moment and often times a soloist can't help it if he spontaneously quotes a song. The difference between an improvised solo and a composition like in your example is premeditation.

So, if he doesn't have to pay royalties for quoting a few bars of "Tenor Madness", why should the published transcription of that solo have to?
Quoting "Tenor Madness" in a performance is not the same as publishing a transcription of that performance. They are not even close to being the same.
 
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