Many of you have wondered lately who could have possibly allowed William Hung to record and literally destroy 'We Are The Champions'.
That's why I'm here to ask who is the responsible for selling the rights of the songs that Freddie wrote.
I would most likely think that it's Queen Productions and that involves mainly Brian, Roger, and Jim Beach.
But is it someone else?
deleted user 30.06.2004 12:50
You don't have to buy the rights of a song in order to cover it. All you have to do is tell the publisher in charge, who will receive the subsequent royalties. That's all. Neither Bri, nor Rog, nor John were approached because of that cover.
One has to differentiate between covering a song and using the original recording (e.g. for a sample).
When there's talk about the "rights" of a song and Queen Productions as an owner, it always has to do with the original recording (or a different recording of the song they own as well) of a song.
Not even in the latter case BriJohnRog are always informed (as Bri's and Rog's comments about recent TV-ads, namely the Viagra and the Jaguar one have shown). A considerable part of it seems to be handled by Jim Beach and other people in charge at Queen Productions.
Please everyone correct me, if I'm wrong.
Actually, it is considered good ethics to ask before you cover a song, but even if Hung did ask, what were they supposed to say to him? "William Hung! Oh, you're horrible! We just hate you!" Politeness is also considered a plus. If asked in an interview, our Brian would probably say the Hung either "had a lot of undiscovered talent" or "was phenomenal". You know how he is.
As far as the commercials go, I'd been wondering that too. Someone needed to object to the Viagra.
Actually on Rockline Roger said something about Hung. But Phillip is spot-on; no permission is needed to cover a song as long as every lyric is left intact.
And, again inferring from Rockline, Beach makes a lot of decisions without Brian, Roger, or John's input.
The real question here is who or what represents Freddie's Estate? As that is what was brought up the last time when RW covered WATC.
But I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with BriRog or John.
To use a song for a commercial you do need the permission of the copyright owner. With regard to Viagra Brian did not say he was not asked permission, he just said his resistance was low:)
The copyright of Freddie's songs is owned by the Freddie Mercury estate which is represented by Jim Beach who has the exclusive voting rights. As such, he has the same vote as the living 3 band members in all business decisions and decisions are usually unanimous. At least that is what David Evans wrote in his book after reading and analyzing Freddie's testament.