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BizIPEsq.
BizIPEsq., Attorney
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 996
Experience:  I am a tech attorney and I represent clients with technology, internet and intellectual property matters
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I am preparing a teleseminar on the need for support in change

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I am preparing a teleseminar on the need for support in change efforts. The recording I am making will be sold as part of a four part series on how to change your life. So definitely commercial use is involved. Within 15 pages of scripted content for this one teleseminar on support, I quote three verses, 12 lines, of the lyrics to Bill Wither's, "Lean on Me". I quote these lines, I don't sing them. I properly cite Bill Wither's as their author, the song, and the year the song was released. I reflect positively on the impact and message of the lyrics in relationship to the importance of support in our change efforts. So no bad-faith usage or negative reflection on the copyrighted material. There are 8 verses and 42 lines in the song. So overall usage is less than 40% of scripted material with no musical component at all. As I am not a lawyer and this doesn't appear completely clear cut, I am asking. Do I need permission from Bill Withers to use this? If so, I will amend my script because the scheduled recording is tomorrow, and there is not time to go through all those hoops. I just don't want to create a problem. Thank you!

BizIPEsq. :

hello, I will be assisting you. Let me review the question

BizIPEsq. :

tge crux if your question is about fair use of copyrighted material. let me log off and compose an answer. please bear with me.

Customer:

Because you posted something, even just the "please wait" that you posted, this site is now bugging me to rate your response. I haven't used this site before, but I am guessing that if I rate the response, that closes the question, and this gets shut down before it is actually finished. My request for information was for high priority and low details. Essentially, I am looking for guidance on fair use, as you have indicated. So either I am within the fair use guidelines (yes, probably) or I am not (no, probably). And that kind of response will suffice for my current request. It's easy enough to delete that section of the transcript for my call and rewrite it without the quoted material. But if I don't get an answer quickly, I will have to err on the side of caution, delete the material, and rate this service not useable. So, how long does "bear with me" usually take? Thank you.

BizIPEsq. :

I was not able to re-log. I think the site noticed my attempts and thought I posted hence the flurry of notices (by the way, rating does not stop the ability to converse. As you can see I am able to log in)

BizIPEsq. :

Generally speaking, the fair use doctrine that permits the use of copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright holder is intended for scholarly research, comedy and the likes. As you noted your use is commercial and though it does have some educational value it does not fall within the meaning of the this exception. In addition, at times the use of a small fraction of a copyrighted is permitted as it would be considered transitiveness, here however use of 40% of the work is not diminutive, rather it is substantial by all means.

BizIPEsq. :

Therefore, you would need to get Bill Wither's permission to use that much of the song. In the alternative, personally I would either quote just a couple of lines or simply reference the title and people would be able to make reference to the song. Obviously I do not know what would the copyright holders do but since the use is so little your work could well become transformative and therefore ok.

BizIPEsq. :

Renewed apologies again. I am as frustrated as you are. Please don't hold these technical difficulties against me (if I am not rated I do not get compensated). I here for you throughout the day even after you rate.

Customer:

OK, so because of the intended commercial use (I intend to sell the recordings of my trainings) and the fact that I am using 12 lines of the lyrics of a song that only has 42 lines total, these would be considered more likely (given that nothing is definitive until a court decides) NOT fair use. That is what I needed to know. I will delete all references from the script. It is not critical to the content. Helpful yes, but not critical. Thank you. No further conversation required.

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