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holidayradio

Using an old radio broadcast in a song...

It's been years since I've been here, but I thought this might be a good place to pose this question.

I have a new song I've recorded that uses about 25 seconds of the famous "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast from the 30s that incited panic in the streets. Do I need to contact the people who hold the rights to it and pay them or am I safe if it's only a short clip? I'm not expecting to sell very many copies of the song since I'm an unknown. Advice?

Thank you!

- Nate

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I have no way of knowing for sure, but my gut tells me someone owns the rights to that broadcast, and yes you would need to secure their permission's first, and then work out the details for using it, they may just say no, period.

I don't think I'd use something as iconic and well known as that broadcast, especially if you're thinking of selling some copies, whether it's 3 or 300, I'm sure you'd be in violation of copyright infringement.

Just a thought, why not come up with your own '30s styled radio broadcast, for inciting panic on the public, that could be fun to do.

"We now interrupt this broadcast, and go to our reporter Elaine Lander at the White House for an emergency announcement from the President......" ohmy.gif

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War of the worlds was written in 1898. Pretty cool! The written text itself is in the public domain here in the US, however in the UK and EU it is under copyright until 2016 according to Librivox(a free audio book project for items in the public domain). That means you might be able to simulate it on your own here in the US and not come into any trouble. As for the original radio broadcast I'm betting someone owns that. In fact I found mention on another website that it is owned by Paramount.

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You know this has just kind of dawned on me at this moment, and I don't even know when it stopped. Outside of one, maybe two radio stations here in town, no other radio stations broadcast the news anymore.

Growing up I can remember all the stations would broadcast at least 5 or 6 minuets of news, weather, and sports at the top of the hour, now you rarely even hear a weather forecast on the radio.

Yeah back then, radio stations were the CNN of news broadcasting. Could you imagine if CNN today were to broadcast an alien invasion play, with Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper chiming in every few minutes with updated reports.

I think everyone would be freaking. laugh.gif

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They're all tucked away on the AM dial somewhere between overly opinionated talk shows...

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