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September 05, 2008

Heh: Cowriters of "Barracuda" Say Ann and Nancy Wilson Should Get a Life

I wonder, though, if they have any power to decide if the song can be used, or if the Wilson sisters control all those rights.

If the writers are cool with it, at the very least someone could cover the song and use that at rallies. I think. Assuming they haven't sold the songbook rights to the Wilsons. Which they probably have.

In other words: I don't know. I just don't have the information. Would you just leave me alone already.

Anyway, jenjhis tips:

One of the credited writers of the song Barracuda, Michael DeRosier, just called in to a local (Seattle) radio talk show and basically said Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart should get a life and he thought it was pretty cool that the song was being played at the RNC. Here's the Wikipedia entry on the song: Credited writers are shown in the upper right hand of the page. The podcast of the show will eventually be here. They usually post it around 4 p.m. Pacific. The call is at the very end of the 1st hour. More update!!! Currently on-air... Roger Fisher, guitarist for Heart is now calling in (he also co-wrote the song). He's an avid Obama supporter, but also thinks it's great the song was being played at the RNC. This is right at the beginning of the second hour.

More: Allah and I are debating based on our barely-recalled knowledge of performance and songbook rights and the automatic licensing provisions of ASCAP and BMI and all that, and since we don't know shit, the conversation is sort of going nowhere.

Jenjhis writes again:

They cover some of the legal issues in the two interviews (along with saucy! details about the break-up of the band) Political campaigns don't have to pay royalties because they're not-for-profit organizations. And they aren't required to ask permission from the artist.

Holdfast offers--

I could show up at events and play the Guitar Hero version? But only on medium - I can't do difficult.

Well, from what I hear, the "guitarist" Wilson sisters also could only play "their" songs on medium difficulty level -- ohhhhh, snap!!!

Ace is Correct. [Gabe] The writers hold the copyright to the lyrics...unless they've transfered those rights to the Wilson Sisters (or more likely to a record company). The composers hold the copyright to the music...unless they've transfered those rights to the Wilson Sisters (or more likely to a record company). But the Wilson Sisters hold the copyright to their recorded performances...unless they've transfered those rights to a record company.

In short, without more information we don't know who actually owns the rights to the recording used at the convention the other night. This is why, despite the tips and promptings, I didn't write about it.

Also, I'm not as convinced that political campaigns are exempt from complying with copyright law as it sounds like above. Noncommercial users have some exemptions from the usual ASCAP scheme, but that doesn't mean they get to do whatever they want with other people's copyrighted material. And there is the slippery question of whether the convention actually counts as a "noncommercial" use.

Here is what we do know:

The Wilson Sisters are humorless old cranks.
Michael DeRosier and Roger Fisher at least have more business savvy and the presence of mind to seize good publicity.
Sarah Palin still kicks ass.

Podcast Now Up: Here.

digg this
posted by Ace at 04:39 PM

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