Suppose a poet is contacted by a composer inspired by his/her poetry, and they agree to use a few of his/her poems in the composer's new orchestral production (which will be released as a CD). They agree on a revenue split, and the poems are registered for copyright. The production company then needs a release note in which the poet grants the composer the right to use his/her lyrics/poems.

What does a copyright release note usually say in such a situation? What rights are typically being granted? Is it usually just the use of the poems for a production and release of a CD, or do they generally grant wider rights to the composer?

One can imagine being both too restrictive or too inclusive: a too restrictive grant may not be sufficient for all aspects of the production, while a too inclusive one may allow the composer to do more with the lyrics beyond the single production, without any extra compensation.

I suspect there may be some established practice about this, but since it's a pretty specific case, I haven't found any information online. Most resources detail more typical cases such as publishing lyrics in writing.

If someone can answer this, I would appreciate a reply using the industry terminology, for future reference.

  • The production company needs permission to produce and distribute a recording of the musical work. Both the poet and the composer have rights in that work. Therefore, both the poet and the composer must grant permission to the production company, whether directly or indirectly. I don't know how this is typically done, nor whether a typical way of doing it even exists. – phoog Oct 14 '20 at 16:00