To Get the Copyright
For our sound exercise, we made the poor choice of using Shel Silverstein’s poem, “The Smoke-Off.” This was originally published in an issue of Playboy in January 1978. So, the way for us to get copyright would start by contacting Playboy through their corporate website found below. The next step taken would be to contact the publishing house that Shel Silverstien’s books are distributed from, in case the poem was later reprinted for a book. In this case, Harper Collins is the publisher, and the website for permissions is below as well. Finally, we would need to contact the estate of Shel Silverstien, which is controlled by his nephew Mitch Myers. The way to contact him was found on a legal document from a past case available online, that gives information to contact his personal representative. Only by following all of these paths would full permissions seem to be granted. We would need to send information in a letter and email to all of these people. In the letters we would explain how the poem would only be used to enhance a learning experience. That it would not be used for mass production, but a one-time use. We would also have to state that this would only be used for the class, and that would also be the only time it may be heard. We would also want to fully explain the class, as well as the specific project, and how we would be using the poem for it. We would probably want to have the official course syllabus and project guidelines. This is clearly a learning experience for our group, and now that we understand what it takes to get permissions, I can say confidently that we will be vigilant for our mistake in the future.
Contacts to fix copyright infringement:
Estate of Shel Silverstein Ms. Peggy Myers,
Personal Representative c/o Donald A. Hamburg, Esq. Golenbock, Eiseman, Assor, Bell & Peskoe 437 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10022