I'm off the project! :-)
I'm off the project! :-)
Boy do I hear where you're coming from.
I have composed for three animation and two live action paraody series.
This has happened to me on more than one occasion. To me it's parody.
To the producer it's Jaws.
Even though the chances of John Williams sueing your ~~~ is about as likely
as winning the lottery, agree with the producer. He signs your cheque.
absolutely fine in my opinion.
I'd agree that you're clear on that one, and I've been asked to do a lot of parody over the years and on occasions I've really agonised about the same sort of situation.
You are clearly making a humourous reference to Jaws, a knowing wink if you like, and are in no way attempting to 'pass off' this as the original fishy cue. You haven't got any kind of note for note copying issues - you're just fine.
I looked into the law regarding this when I was doing some particulaly close to the knuckle stuff at one stage so I understand the producer's cautiousness. In the UK (as I understand it) the commissioner, not the practitioner, is responsible if the sh** hits the f**!
Don't tell 'em I told you so... could be completely different under US law.
Slightly more complicated, I think. I believe that it is the Publisher that is responsible, which is usually the film company (in rip-off mode). However, often contracts that composers sign state that the music is original, and has not previously been Published. In this case expect a counter law suit against the Composer from the Publisher...!Originally Posted by BarrieB
Technically this would probably be a "cross-claim" (if the Composer is already a party in the suit) or "third-party claim" (if the Composer was not named in the original suit).Originally Posted by Daryl
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Your input was appreciated on this.
Yeah, there's always the danger of that - I should have mentioned that!! I've certainly had one client chickened out because the parody was TOO good in their opinion. As slinky says above, clients can just hear one slightly agressive double bass arco note and say "that's Jaws, we can't use it"! As I understand it, you can pretty much get away with all the stylistic elements that make the piece what it is, you can sail pretty close to the melodic patterns as long as you don't quote - but any attempt to use in a context which could be construed to 'passing it off' as the original is a big no no!Originally Posted by Daryl
Sorry - bit slow, "Off the project?" Steve? What happened?
Well, the producer approched me and asked me to do 1, 4 minute scene so that he could get an idea of how I'd approach it.Originally Posted by BarrieB
He wrote that he liked everything I did (except that I used the music from jaws, to which I explained the no worry ... it's parody etc.) and then asked, "oh ...by the way, are you a member of ascap, bmi or sesac?" I replied "yes ...sesac."
He then wrote back, "we don't want to go through the hassle of doing q-sheets so we can't use you."
Possibly he was seeing it as a web release, or DVD sales, not sure.
No big deal. The film, as much as I saw of it, wasn't very professional, although it was ok.
I had fun doing the 4 minutes and actually came away with about 3 minutes of material that could be used elsewhere.
So, lesson learned! Always define specific terms first!