Re: ASCAP and Singing Songs
Mark Arend (arend@PEOPLES.NET)
Sun, 25 Aug 1996 17:22:45 -0500
>When will the Greed end.
It's not greed--it's only right. If I write a book or a song (or for that
matter, a posting to Scouts-l) I have certain rights, among which is being
paid when someone else uses what I have produced. It says so right in the
Constitution. ASCAP was set up so we would not have to deal with about a
zillion different composers; the consumer deals with ASCAP and ASCAP keeps
the books and pays the composer.
There's a lot of good stuff out there which is in the public domain. This
means that it is out of copyright protection. The old law held that
something could be copyrighted for 28 years and renewed for an additional 28
years. The new (late 1970s) law specifies the author's life plus 50 years.
So Shakespeare is out of copyright and so is The Battle Hymn of the
Republic. However, supprisingly, things like Happy Birthday are not.
Note on all the above. I am a librarian, not a lawyer. I have studied
copyright law from the viewpoint of schools & libraries but I am not and
should not be considered an expert.
Mark W. Arend
Beaver Dam Community Library Outside of a dog, a book is man's
311 N. Spring St. best friend. Inside of a dog
Beaver Dam, Wisc. 53916 it's too dark to read.
(414) 887-4631 (fax: 887-4633) --Groucho Marx
Scoutmaster Troop 736
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City