Getting Artistic Permission for staging a musical

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spudqueen | 21:54 Sun 01st Jun 2008 | Music
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I have a question about the legal status of getting permission off an artist to use their material?

For example, if Ben Elton had booked a Queen tribute band to play a set of Queen songs under the title 'We Will Rock You' would he have needed permission from Queen - or could they have stopped him from staging the gig?

Going one further (which is of course what actually happened) if he decided to link a series of Queen cover songs with a storyline of his own making - did he need Queen's permission for the resulting musical? (Assuming he would pay the right fees to the performing rights society?)

If permission is needed for a musical in this fashion, why in legal terms does it differ from booking a tribute band and getting them to perform a load of Queen songs?

Ditto if I wanted to release a CD of Queen cover songs performed by a top tribute band could I do it without getting Queen's permission (provided of course I pay all the legitimate copyright fees etc.)

Bottom line - if Queen thought 'We Will Rock You' sucked as an idea, could they have stopped Ben Elton from releasing the resulting musical?

Mr Spudqueen


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>if Queen thought 'We Will Rock You' sucked as an idea,

What do you mean IF, the "story" in We will rock you" is naff and trite and Ben Elton should be ashamed of himself.

Just shows the gullability of the British public who will flock to any old rubish.

I know it has been sucessful and made everyone a lot of money, but it does not make it good.

Some reviews here: eviews/wewillrockyou02.htm

(Sorry I did not answer your question. I guess it is BEST if you have the support of the band, like Queen or Abba, as they can help promote it but not sure if it is a legal requirement).

Of course Take That signed an agreement to allow a show of Take That songs before they reformed, but after their comeback shows they refused to support the stage show. However it still went ahead as the theatre company had signed a deal with Take That.

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