Do I need to get permission to use another's song? 5 Answers as of October 21, 2013

I want to use part of a Sam Cooke song that I am writing. Do I have to get permission? If so, how do I get permission. What happens if I don't get permission.

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Entertainment Law Partners
Entertainment Law Partners | Tifanie Jodeh
Yes, you need to obtain authorization, otherwise you are subject to liability for unauthorized use of another's property.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/21/2013
Lawyer for Indie Media
Lawyer for Indie Media | Sue Basko
Are you asking about using a recorded sample of a Sam Cooke song in a song you are writing? If this is what you are asking, then you are talking about how to get permission to use a sample. To get permission to use a sample, you must get permission from two sources. One source is the publisher or owner of the copyright on the songwriting. Since there may be multiple songwriters and they may have different publishers, you may need to get permission from several publishers. Then you also need permission from the owner of the copyright on the sound recording. That is often a record label. Either or both of these can refuse to give their permission and can charge whatever amount they want. Whether they give permission will be based on how much you can pay, who you are, your track record, what kind of music you make, and if they like you and your work. If you don't get permission, you are infringing the copyright of all those people and companies and they can sue you. You also won't be able to sell or display the song without proper clearances.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 10/18/2013
Roe Law Firm
Roe Law Firm | Theodore M. Roe
To use the work of another person you must acquire an assignment of license. To do so I recommend you hire a qualified intellectual property attorney. If you use the work of another without the appropriate assignment or license, you are likely committing copyright infringement and could be subject to up to $150,000 in damages per violation.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 10/18/2013
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
If you use any copyrighted material you must obtain permission of the copyright owner prior to using it. Check with ASCAP and BMI to see who handles rights for this particular song.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 10/18/2013
LYL Law Group
LYL Law Group | Lior Leser
You must get permission. Failing to get a proper license shall expose you to liability for copyright violation.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 10/18/2013
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