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Roger
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I have created a version of House of the rising sun. I used

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I have created a version of House of the rising sun. I used The Animals lyrics but the rest of the song is different. This is not necessarily for monetary gain, but I would like to know how I can legally post it online (for non profit or otherwise), and if the opportunity presented itself how I could legally use my version for monetary gain.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm an Intellectual Property litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll be glad to help you with this. You can record the song for your own use, and even for profit under US Copyright laws due to the compulsory license law. You can read about this law here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_licenseHowever, you are required to compensate the owner of the copyright for the use of the lyrics (but you don't technically have to get permission). Here's a good link that outlines how this works in the music industry: http://www.artistshousemusic.org/expert/how+do+i+record+someone+elses+songIt is also possible to negotiate an agreement with the owner or obtain a license from the copyright owner without relying on the compulsory license. Thus, you're going to have to compensate the owner one way or another - - you can go about it through a compulsory license claim OR you can contact the owner and try to obtain a copyright license and pay a one time fee, etc. Either way, you're going to have to deal with the owner. Unfortunately, you can't legaly record the song and publish it without paying the piper. Of course, people do this all the time, and often it goes undetected or unprosecuted because it's not worth the cost to pursue a claim - - but it's still definitely possible. I hope this covers your question, but if you need anything else, please don't hesitate to ask and I'll be glad to respond. Thanks!
I'm sorry for the message above being jumbled. I'm not sure why it ran everything together. I'll post a clean version below.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm an Intellectual Property litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll be glad to help you with this.

You can record the song for your own use, and even for profit under US Copyright laws due to the compulsory license law. You can read about this law here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_license

However, you are required to compensate the owner of the copyright for the use of the lyrics (but you don't technically have to get permission). Here's a good link that outlines how this works in the music industry: http://www.artistshousemusic.org/expert/how+do+i+record+someone+elses+song

It is also possible to negotiate an agreement with the owner or obtain a license from the copyright owner without relying on the compulsory license. Thus, you're going to have to compensate the owner one way or another - - you can go about it through a compulsory license claim OR you can contact the owner and try to obtain a copyright license and pay a one time fee, etc. Either way, you're going to have to deal with the owner. Unfortunately, you can't legally record the song and publish it without paying the piper.

Of course, people do this all the time, and often it goes undetected or unprosecuted because it's not worth the cost to pursue a claim - - but it's still definitely possible.

I hope this covers your question, but if you need anything else, please don't hesitate to ask and I'll be glad to respond. Thanks!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Just in case you did not get the email-

I just have a few more questions about this topic. Is there any way around a copyright license, such as a waiver or some other form of permission by the owner that would hold up in court as my defense? How do I find the current owner of the copyright?
Hi - I didn't get the email, but I'll be glad to respond here.

As for a way around a copyright license, it is possible to avoid a copyright license IF you claim a compulsory license (but you have to pay royalties, etc.). However, if you can get the owner of the copyright to give you permission to use the lyrics, then that would be totally legal - - you would just need a written statement that says you're being given a license to use the lyrics - - it would basically be a waiver or any rights to collect a fee for use, but it would need to be called a license for your protection.

You can search copyright records and ownership information here: http://www.copyright.gov/records/. If you have trouble, you can call the US Copyright Office for assistance finding the owner.
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