#7 Writing Tip: Is your written content legal?

That quote you pulled from the Internet to use in your marketing, or your book…can you legally use it?

I can use this shot of my daughter in a high school production of "Clue," because I took it. The play title is royalty free, but if I quoted any of her lines here, I'd need to pay royalties, since someone else wrote the words.     @2013 ANVidean

I can use this shot of my daughter Codi (the “Police Chief” in her high school production of “Clue”), because I took it. The play title is royalty free, but if I quoted any of her lines here, I’d need to pay royalties, since someone else wrote the words. @2013 ANVidean

Do you think if you simply provide a source, you’re covered? It’s likely you’re not. You may need to ask permission, or even pay royalties to use it.

When I wrote my novel, Rhythms & Muse, I included famous advertising quotes, celebrity names, song titles, even some lyrics. Not wanting to borrow trouble later, I sought out the advice of a copyright attorney to see what I needed to do to use these snippets of other people’s material. I used Etherton Law Group, but can also recommend Kevin Keener an intellectual property attorney at Keener, McPhail, Salles, LLC.

Advertising quotes

The lawyer informed me I could not use ad quotes, no matter how much people banter them about in common conversation. I had to find a way around it, like in this excerpt from the novel.

      “You mean like, that anti-stomach acid commercial with the Italian guy sitting on the bed saying he can’t believe he ate…’” Alex started.
      Suzanne continued, “Yeah, yeah. …the entire bowl of spaghetti.” She laughed. “Something like that.”
            “Well, I can’t believe I dreamed this whole thing about Matt.”


Celebrity names

Since it is against the CreateSpace Terms of Agreement, I ended up not using celebrity names at all. This forced me—in a fun, creative way—to allude to recognizable characteristics:

“Great. Now, if your local studio doesn’t work out for some reason, we’ll make arrangements to do all recording at our LA studios. I’m hoping for ‘Frankies’ place, though,” Mr. Grandberg said, his unexpected smile lighting up behind the cigar. “Recording at the home studio of my all-time favorite crooner – rest his soul – would be a rare privilege, not to mention the great PR it would make for the single.”

I also used recognizable nicknames, as in this excerpt:

      “Hey, Lex, I have great news!”
      “You mean, the King of Rock and Roll really does live?”
      Suzanne laughed. “No. I’ve patched things up with Kathy.”

I found out Priscilla Presley owns the rights to her late husband’s name, and she requires you to get permission or pay to state his name, depending on how you use it. (Can you say “amass a fortune?”)

Another interesting and frustrating discovery: if you’re self-published, Disney won’t allow you to use any character name. Period. You can’t even pay to use it. [sigh] That led me to sections like this:

“Look, she’s surrounded by all her little dorks right over there. Anyone of them would be glad to have her in their little cottage cooking and cleaning for them. See?” She started pointing one by one to the jocks. “Doofy.  Dippy. Dweeby. Dullard…”


Music artists, song titles, and lyrics

You can use the name of musical artists and their song titles without sourcing or paying royalties. But, if you plan to use any portion of the lyrics, you must pay for their use. This involves contacting music rights management firms like ASCAP, BMI or Hal Leonard in writing, with detailed specifics about how the information will be used.

I ended up paying a few hundred dollars to use a few lines of lyrics from John Denver’s “Annie’s Song,” Ewan MacColl’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” as sung by Roberta Flack, and Tim Rice’s “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from the play/movie Jesus Christ Superstar.

Of course, I own full rights to my own original lyrics appearing in the book, and the book’s “soundtrack” of original tunes I wrote and recorded on CD.

Even quotes from famous people are often copyrighted, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you use anyone else’s materials in your writing, be sure to clarify its use with a qualified copyright lawyer. If someone else uses your work, you want them to source it or pay for it, now don’t you?

P.S. If you’re the first to comment, answering the following four questions correctly, I’ll send you a $10 gift certificate from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Can you guess:

  1. The name of the product I alluded to in the ad above?
  2. The name of the crooner who actually owned a home on Hayden Lake in Idaho? (It’s not Frank Sinatra, despite my using “Frankie’s place.”)
  3. The real name of the King of Rock and Roll?
  4. The Disney character I suggest who cooks and cleans house for her little guys?
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CBTL answers tea questions

A graphic I created to enter a CBTL gift card contest. Yep, those are my family's hands. @2010 ANVidean

A graphic I created to enter a CBTL gift card contest a couple of years ago.   Yep, those are my family’s hands. @2010 ANVidean

My favorite tea organization, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, held a live tea chat with their international tea expert David DeCandia today (Jan. 30, 2013). The convo took place in honor of National Hot Tea Month. [Who knew that was going on?]

Even though you didn’t catch it live, the questions and answers are still worth checking out.

Two upcoming Rhythms & Muse book events

Announcing two upcoming events for my Rhythms & Muse
debut novel and music CD

________________________________________________

EVENT #1: Novel and CD signing

Sunday, May 22, 2011
11 a.m.– 2 p.m.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (Tempe Marketplace)
2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy. #1150
Tempe, AZ

Novel ($17), CD ($6), or both ($22) available for sale on-site 
with cash, or check to vIDEAn Unlimited

Win free attendance to an upcoming Catch Your Dream workshop,
helping you move forward with your life dream.

________________________________________________

EVENT #2: Arizona Dreamin’

I am one of 24 featured authors at this super fun girl’s night out event June 4, 2011. You’ll be up-close and personal with all the authors, learning and sharing about their books and writing. You’ll also have the chance to see the photo shoot for a book cover by model Jimmy Thomas.

Dinner. Bookstore. Raffles prizes. Goodie bags. Movie fest. I hope you’ll consider getting in on the fun!

Saturday, June 4, 2011
2 p.m.– 11 p.m. (or overnight)

Tempe InnSuites Hotel and Suites
1651 W. Baseline Road
Tempe, AZ

Tickets: $20 for general admission, or $39 including dinner with the authors.
Information and tickets at arizonadreamin.wordpress.com.

 ________________________________________________

Praise for Rhythms & Muse

“I rarely read fiction, but had this book recommended to me by a friend. I started the book on the plane on a recent trip and could not put it down! So well written, the descriptions make me want to take a trip to Idaho and of course I loved all the romance!” — Deb Ortega, Amazon.com review

“Love your writing! What a pro, the way you wove the past and the present together seamlessly.”— Andrea Beaulieu, author Finding Your Authentic Voice and Ah Ha!: 100 Flashes of Insight and Inspiration From Your Authentic Voice (www.yourauthenticvoice.com)

“Wonderful. I love the way you took us from the present back to the past to weave the storyline for each of the main characters. I am recommending the book to my daughters and granddaughters who are searching for their life rhythms.”—Margaret Jacoby, SPHR, the Goddess of Compliance with MJ Management Solutions (www.mjms.net)

“One of the best ‘chick flicks’ I have ever read. Rhythms & Muse, Ann Videan’s freshman release, engages your heart and spirit with the same lilting energy as a romantic soft rock ballad. If ever a dream was meant to be realized, this book is that dream, and you will gladly enfold yourself in its verbal magic.”– JM de Biasi, literary critic, bibliophile

“Definitely a page-turner! I loved the great dialogue, flashbacks and dreams, and the juxtaposition between the ’70s and current day. Plus, a lovely ending.”— Laurie Fagen, writer, publisher SanTan Sun News (www.santansun.com)

 ________________________________________________

About The Novel

Witnessing a horrific car accident seen many times before in her dreams spurs award-winning singer Alexandra Lauren to reevaluate her glamorous Hollywood lifestyle. With her lofty musical goal now tarnished by reality, and her unfulfilled memories from her senior year in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, haunting her, Alex takes a bold step to change the rhythms of her life. Leveraging her newly acknowledged intuitions, she makes a plan to reconnect not only with her musical touchstone and high-school sweetheart Matthew Roberts, but with her desire to impact lives for the good through the innocence and beauty of music.
***
Even though Matt holds Alex in his heart as his only muse, he resolves to ignore her existence. He cannot stay in control with her powerful presence in his life. Besides, how can he ever forgive her? In alliance with their charismatic friend Daniel, her betrayal demolished Matt’s joy in creating their hit single, not to mention their future lives, together.
***
Can anything in this world shift Matt’s resolve to distance himself from Alex? And, with Daniel still pursuing Alex even as his wife Kathy looks on, can Alex actually find fulfillment? Will music draw the estranged soul mates together again and guide them to realize their dreams?

 ________________________________________________

About the Music CD

A solid 1970s folk and rock-ballad influence on five original tunes inspired by songs “written” by characters in the Rhythms & Muse novel. The author composed and sang all the vocals, played piano and guitar on select compositions, and mixed the tracks in GarageBand software.

 ________________________________________________

 Where To Buy (if not at event)

Novel: createspace.com/3485275 [CreateSpace E-Store, best benefit to author]

Music CD: createspace.com/1913103 [CreateSpace E-Store, best benefit to author]

Book, music CD and MP3 files: www.tinyurl.com/ANVamazon [Amazon, most convenient]

Coffee CommuniTea: Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Chandler, AZ

[This is a post I sent via my LINC e-newsletter back in August 2009. Thought I’d move it over here, so you could also benefit!]

I have to admit I have a vice. Tea. Especially the tea lattes at my favorite  haunt — the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. CBTL, Chandler, AZMay I interest you in a Japanese cherry green tea with chocolate sugar- free powder? Iced in the summer, of course. Ahhhh!

I especially like supporting the CBTL, because they purchase their tea directly from small, independent fields in tea-producing countries. They’ve also improved the living conditions in small towns by building schools, and donating toys and books. (Find out more about CBTL in this article in the Santa Barbara Independent.)

It’s always a great experience to go into a CBTL, too. I find the baristas very helpful, interesting and loads of fun to chat up. Like Jimmy and CCBTL baristas Jimmy & Chistenehristene here from the Chandler, AZ location.

CBTL is a place I talk about to almost everyone. It’s a great place to meet for a vibrant conversation over a delicious cup of tea. I recommend it highly! (Oh, and they do serve coffee, too! :oD )

Why not share your own favorite tea drink. Or, maybe you’d like to ask a question or make another comment? I value your feedback.

……………………

I love connecting people and ideas, so I’ve been creating small villages my entire life. Really, what better places can writers and musicians find to create “village” than independent coffee/tea shops? I wrote most of my Rhythms & Muse novel in coffee/tea venues, so it seemed natural to create this blog. Whether you came here to find a new favorite hangout, or suggest a spot not yet not posted, may you find Coffee CommuniTea exactly to your taste!

Media signing, April 23, Coffee Bean at Loop 101/Cave Creek Road

Ann Narcisian Videan announces a second
signing for her debut novel and music CD, in Phoenix.

Saturday, April 23, 2011
11 a.m.– 2 p.m.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (Loop 101 & Cave Creek Road)
20235 N. Cave Creek Road, Suite 1115
Phoenix AZ, 85024

Novel ($16.50) , CD ($6.50), or both ($23) available for sale on-site
with cash or check.

Win a free signed and numbered CD.

________________________________________

Praise for Rhythms & Muse

“One of the best ‘chick flicks’ I have ever read. Rhythms & Muse, Ann Videan’s freshman release, engages your heart and spirit with the same lilting energy as a romantic soft rock ballad. If ever a dream was meant to be realized, this book is that dream, and you will gladly enfold yourself in its verbal magic.”
– JM de Biasi, literary critic, bibliophile

“Definitely a page-turner! I loved the great dialogue, flashbacks and dreams, and the juxtaposition between the ’70s and current day. Plus, a lovely ending.”
– Laurie Fagen, writer, publisher SanTan Sun News

“Love your writing! What a pro, the way you wove the past and the present together seamlessly.”
— Andrea Beaulieu, author Finding Your Authentic Voice and Ah Ha!: 100 Flashes of Insight and Inspiration From Your Authentic Voice (www.yourauthenticvoice.com)

“Wonderful. I love the way you took us from the present back to the past to weave the storyline for each of the main characters. I am recommending the book to my daughters and granddaughters who are searching for their life rhythms.”
—Margaret Jacoby, SPHR, the Goddess of Compliance with MJ Management Solutions (www.mjms.net)

________________________________________

About The Novel

Witnessing a horrific car accident seen many times before in her dreams spurs award-winning singer Alexandra Lauren to reevaluate her glamorous Hollywood lifestyle. With her lofty musical goal now tarnished by reality, and her unfulfilled memories from her senior year in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, haunting her, Alex takes a bold step to change the rhythms of her life. Leveraging her newly acknowledged intuitions, she makes a plan to reconnect not only with her musical touchstone and high-school sweetheart Matthew Roberts, but with her desire to impact lives for the good through the innocence and beauty of music.

***

Even though Matt holds Alex in his heart as his only muse, he resolves to ignore her existence. He cannot stay in control with her powerful presence in his life. Besides, how can he ever forgive her? In alliance with their charismatic friend Daniel, her betrayal demolished Matt’s joy in creating their hit single, not to mention their future lives, together.

***

Can anything in this world shift Matt’s resolve to distance himself from Alex? And, with Daniel still pursuing Alex even as his wife Kathy looks on, can Alex actually find fulfillment? Will music draw the estranged soul mates together again and guide them to realize their dreams?

________________________________________

About the Music CD

A solid 1970s folk and rock-ballad influence on five original tunes inspired by songs “written” by characters in the Rhythms & Muse novel. The author composed and sang all the vocals, played piano and guitar on select compositions, and mixed the tracks in GarageBand software.

________________________________________

Where To Buy

Bookcreatespace.com/3485275 [CreateSpace E-Store]

Music CD: createspace.com/1913103 [CreateSpace E-Store]

Book, music CD and MP3 fileswww.tinyurl.com/ANVamazon [Amazon]

Media signing, Feb. 4, Chandler Coffee Bean

Ann Narcisian Videan announces a
media signing for her debut novel and music CD.

Friday, Feb. 4, 2011
2 p.m.– 7 p.m.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Chandler
2560 West Chandler Boulevard
(just east of I-101)

Novel ($16.50) , CD ($6.50), or both ($23) available for sale on-site
with cash or check.

Win a free signed and numbered CD.

________________________________________

Praise for Rhythms & Muse

“One of the best ‘chick flicks’ I have ever read. Rhythms & Muse, Ann Videan’s freshman release, engages your heart and spirit with the same lilting energy as a romantic soft rock ballad. If ever a dream was meant to be realized, this book is that dream, and you will gladly enfold yourself in its verbal magic.”
– JM de Biasi, literary critic, bibliophile

“Definitely a page-turner! I loved the great dialogue, flashbacks and dreams, and the juxtaposition between the ’70s and current day. Plus, a lovely ending.”
– Laurie Fagen, writer, publisher SanTan Sun News

“Love your writing! What a pro, the way you wove the past and the present together seamlessly.”
— Andrea Beaulieu, author Finding Your Authentic Voice and Ah Ha!: 100 Flashes of Insight and Inspiration From Your Authentic Voice (www.yourauthenticvoice.com)

“Wonderful. I love the way you took us from the present back to the past to weave the storyline for each of the main characters. I am recommending the book to my daughters and granddaughters who are searching for their life rhythms.”
—Margaret Jacoby, SPHR, the Goddess of Compliance with MJ Management Solutions (www.mjms.net)

________________________________________

About The Novel

Witnessing a horrific car accident seen many times before in her dreams spurs award-winning singer Alexandra Lauren to reevaluate her glamorous Hollywood lifestyle. With her lofty musical goal now tarnished by reality, and her unfulfilled memories from her senior year in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, haunting her, Alex takes a bold step to change the rhythms of her life. Leveraging her newly acknowledged intuitions, she makes a plan to reconnect not only with her musical touchstone and high-school sweetheart Matthew Roberts, but with her desire to impact lives for the good through the innocence and beauty of music.

***

Even though Matt holds Alex in his heart as his only muse, he resolves to ignore her existence. He cannot stay in control with her powerful presence in his life. Besides, how can he ever forgive her? In alliance with their charismatic friend Daniel, her betrayal demolished Matt’s joy in creating their hit single, not to mention their future lives, together.

***

Can anything in this world shift Matt’s resolve to distance himself from Alex? And, with Daniel still pursuing Alex even as his wife Kathy looks on, can Alex actually find fulfillment? Will music draw the estranged soul mates together again and guide them to realize their dreams?

________________________________________

About the Music CD

A solid 1970s folk and rock-ballad influence on five original tunes inspired by songs “written” by characters in the Rhythms & Muse novel. The author composed and sang all the vocals, played piano and guitar on select compositions, and mixed the tracks in GarageBand software.

Where To Buy

Bookcreatespace.com/3485275 [CreateSpace E-Store]

Book and music MP3 fileswww.tinyurl.com/ANVamazon [Amazon]

Limited Edition Music CD: I’m offering 50 numbered and signed hand-pressed music CDs upon personal request at avidean@videanunlimited.com, until my CDs are available online (within a couple of weeks).