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indieflmkr
indieflmkr, Filmmaker/Instructor
Category: Entertainment
Satisfied Customers: 120
Experience:  Independent filmmaker and Media Arts Instructor
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How do I contact Bob Dylan, or Bob Dylans legal people

Resolved Question:

How do I contact Bob Dylan, or Bob Dylan's legal people? I have written and copyrighted a musical play "Dirt Road Blues"which exclusively uses Bob Dylan's copyrighted songs. Before my partner (The Director of the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts.at Pebblebrook High School.) and I can proceed, we would need to receive some sort of "Go-Ahead." We want to submit a songs listing and a brief synopsis of the musical play.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Entertainment
Expert:  indieflmkr replied 5 years ago.

indieflmkr :

Hello - I'm happy to help you with your question. First of all, what is the reason you are trying to contact him? That will make a difference as to what options you have. - Troy

Customer:

I have written and copyrighted a musical play titled "Dirt Road Blues." The musical play entirely and exclusively uses Bob Dylan's copyrighted songs. I want to submit a Bob Dylan songs listing and a brief synopsis of the play in order to receive some sort of approval before we can prepare for actual performances. The play would be produced by the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook H.S.. Mableton, GA. Thanks, Pete

indieflmkr :

Hello Pete - how are you. My name is Troy.

indieflmkr :

Looks like you are online right now, so I will wait for you to respond before giving any more information.

Customer:

I have written and copyrighted a musical play titled "Dirt Road Blues." This musical play is solely comprised of bob Dylan's copyrighted songs. I want to submit a songs listing and brief synopsis to Bob Dylan, or Key Dylan contacts in order to receive some sort of quasi-legal approval to "go- ahead." the musical Play would be produced and performed by the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook High School. I have written to dylan's listed agent, his listed Manager and his former legal representatives. All submittals came backwith comments 'We do not accept unsollicited mail."

indieflmkr :

First of all, I want to apologize - when I first opened your email, I did not see you actual question, but instead the "Already Tried" section -- sorry to make you repost the info. That was not intentional.

indieflmkr :

Another quick question - when you wrote to the people you mentioned -- was it just an inquiry letter or did you send the synopsis of the play with it?

Customer:

this has nothing to do with a film!

indieflmkr :

Yes, I am aware of that. I didn't say that it did have to do with a film, it's a musical play. I am just asking what specifically you sent to the people. Did you send just an inquire letter or did you send other materials with it (like the synopsis or anything else)?

Customer:

I sent the synopsis, songs listing and cover letter, but it was all returned as unsollicited. His internet- listed law firm no longer represents Bob Dylan. Our intention is to register all performances with BMI and to meet all legal requirements.This is a purely creative effort and not intended as a money-maker, although it truly has great potential to get all the way to Broadway, or even into film!

indieflmkr :

Ok. That's part of the reason it's getting marked as Unsolicited. As you've found, this is a very frustrating process. First off - I would highly recommend that you enlist the services of an entertainment attorney. Preferably one with experience in music rights clearances - though potentially expensive -- this will greatly increase your chances of getting the information in front of who you need to get it. If that is not an option for you you can try the following:

indieflmkr :

Send JUST a letter, very concisely explaining that you would like to discuss with someone about getting permission to use his music for a play you have written. Give the title of the play and a VERY brief descriptions (literally only a few words -- the premise) and your contact information.

indieflmkr :

Possibly a more effective route - at least to get the specific name and contact information of the people you actually need to speak to, is to call the offices of the agent and/or manager and explain what you are trying to do and ask who you would need to speak to. This would probably be the fastest way to do this. Make sure that you explain that you are looking to get permission for use of existing songs -- that you are not attempting to submit new material to Dylan.

Customer:

I can do that, but is there a mailing address I can send the letter to? Is there a corporate structure, or mailing address for Special Rider Music? Or even Dwarf music? Many of Dylan's songs were originally recorded via Warner Brothers, but it looks like all of the copyrights became transferred to "Special Rider music.

indieflmkr :

I don't know specifically off the top of my head, but you could try looking them both up - google's not being very helpful. You may be able to get this information from the record company that release the music. Music rights are REALLY complex - as there are actually a number of different kinds of rights involved. Assuming your play calls for the actors to sing the lyrics and a live band (or a new recording made specifically for the play) to perform the music - you are dealing with the rights to the underlying music and lyrics, rather than an existing recording of the songs. So you'd need to track down who specifically owns THOSE rights. Which can be difficult to determine. Another reason to use an Attorney, as he/she will have better access to that information.

Customer:

Maybe on Tuesday'll try what you've suggested.

Customer:

Thanks, Pete

indieflmkr :

To make things MORE complicated - many artists and music publishers hire 3rd Party first that JUST deal with licensing issues. One other resource to try is a company called The Harry Fox Agency -- they are one of the largest music licensing firms (perhaps THE largest). They deal mostly with recorded music, rather than the music/lyrics that you are dealing with - BUT it might be a resource that could point you in the right direction. That said -- getting a free consultation with an attorney could be really helpful too. Most attorneys will grant a 1/2 hour or hour for free to discuss a project - if they can't help you (because you can't afford to hire them) they can usually (the good ones at least), can at least give you some resources to get you on your way.

indieflmkr :

I hope this information is helpful to you. If so, please select the "Accept" button. Otherwise, please let me know if there is any other information I can provide. Thank you for using JustAnswer.com - Troy

indieflmkr :

Hello, You had previously attempt to "Accept" this answer - but there was a problem on my end that prevented it from processing. I have fixed the problem on my end. If you wouldn't mind trying the "ACCEPT" again - I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you again for using JustAnswer.com - Troy

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