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Poetry, Hymns, etc.


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#1 LarryG

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 02:08 AM

I have a question:

Are there special rules regarding the copyright of hymns, poetry and spiritual songs? If so, could someone explain them please.

#2 Josh Bond

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:27 AM

I have a question:

Are there special rules regarding the copyright of hymns, poetry and spiritual songs? If so, could someone explain them please.


Appears to be same as books: Prior to 1923=public domain. 1923-1963 and renewed = copyrighted. 1923-1963 and not renewed = not copyrighted.

#3 LarryG

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 11:07 AM

OK, thanks Josh. I had heard that there were a different set of rules. That was a long time ago though, and my memory isn't that good.

#4 jonathon

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:48 PM

Are there special rules regarding the copyright of hymns, poetry and spiritual songs?


Rules are the same as for other content.

However, most poets and song writers do not file for individual copyrights.
Rather, the copyright is filed as part of a collection. Adding a wrinkle to things, is that subsequent publication, in other collections, usually are treated as "original publication date for purposes of filing copyright".

With filk, and similar forms of music, filing for copyright is virtually unknown. Due to how that music is spread, attribution is usually lost. Consequently, it isn't uncommon for that type of music to be marked "traditional", when the original creator/performer is not only alive and well, but still playing it at their gigs.

One other point to note. If the person who composed the original work has a recording contract, the company that the recording contract with usually owns all of the rights to the work. In recent years, the *IAA has tried to force Congress to change copyright law, so that the content creator never has any rights, but all rights are owned by the label, even if the composer has never talked to a label, much less signed a contract.


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#5 LarryG

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 11:50 AM

I'm sorry to be so late with this, but "Thanks" for the information Jonathon. I've several books I'm working on and was wondering if I was wasting my time and should stop.

#6 Josh Bond

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 12:39 PM

I know you know this Larry, but for others who might be confused by the legalism on more modern works, if it's 1922 or before, you're safe.

#7 dauex

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:20 PM

I know you know this Larry, but for others who might be confused by the legalism on more modern works, if it's 1922 or before, you're safe.

Maybe!  There are also format copyrights if the work has been re published.  Copy the original and you should be OK but copy the copy and whoops.  And Disney, and perhaps others, claim they OWN old works that they have revived [[have not seen anything by Disney on Bible topics but someone else maybe tiring the same 'trick']]






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