Search

Feedback

Different lyrics - cover or adaption?

Dola

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 8

Dola @ 2020-09-02 18:39:50 UTC

I came across Christmas Is All Around by Billy Mack / Bill Nighy. It is listed as a cover of Love is all around. Although the lyrics are slightly different it is neither to be found under adaptions nor is a lyricist besides Reg Presley named.

In a first research I couldn't find the person who changed the lyrics and the only information I have so far is from back of cover, where it is said, that it is a limited adaption of the original. Then two people are named who were responsible for production and engeneering, but no lyricist. Sure, it could be possible that Reg Presley himself altered the lyrics or maybe the change is too little to count as an adaption of the song. But I'm a little indifferent if one of these possibilities is true. So I would like to ask for other opinions on this. Shouldn't it be found in the adaption column of "Love is all around" because it is not love anymore but christmas in the center of the song and so it becomes a different song? Or am I overthinking what an adaption is?


And - whether in your opinion it is an adaption or just a cover - shouldn't there be an entry like "unknown" or "not yet identified" for the lyricist because there are different lyrics used?


I hope this is the right way and place to ask for help / bring up a topic like this...

sebcat

Managing Editor
Posts: 5341

sebcat @ 2020-09-02 19:02:15 UTC

This is exactly the place to bring these kinds of questions.

The main decision on whether to create a new adaptation or not is whether the lyrics are materially changed or not. In this case I’m not sure the changes are material.

While not definitive, another guide is whether the works have separate entries in the copyright databases.

I remember a long discussion about Midnight Train to Georgia where editors decided the change in lyrics was not significant enough.

Jeff Chamberlain

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 1428

Jeff Chamberlain @ 2020-09-02 19:13:37 UTC

Good luck, Dola. I've been baffled by this for years.

______
JC

Dola

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 8

Dola @ 2020-09-02 19:45:37 UTC

Thanks for answering. Smile

I think whether this is a material change depends so much on one's personal point of view that it is best to be able to discuss such cases with other people. And my experiences here so far have been very good in this regard, so I am looking forward to the next exchange of views in such a case.

Bastien

Manager
Posts: 28714

Bastien @ 2020-09-06 09:39:55 UTC

Shouldn't it be found in the adaption column of "Love is all around" because it is not love anymore but christmas in the center of the song and so it becomes a different song? Or am I overthinking what an adaption is?

And - whether in your opinion it is an adaption or just a cover - shouldn't there be an entry like "unknown" or "not yet identified" for the lyricist because there are different lyrics used?

Good question. It's often not a black/white case, but different shades of grey Wink

In this case, I think the current listing, a version of Love Is All Around , and not an adaptation, is the right decision. For the following reasons:

  • There is no specific PRO entry
  • There are no known lyricists
  • The lyrical changes are minor

This being said, Limbabwe , it could use a short comment stating something to the extent of "Minor adaptation to the lyrics" and in the editor notes "No lyricist known for the adapted lyrics".

I hope this is the right way and place to ask for help / bring up a topic like this...

Yes it is Smile

When your level will be increased to CC2, you will be able to post it here:

https://secondhandsongs.com/board/11

Bastien

Manager
Posts: 28714

Bastien @ 2020-09-06 09:41:27 UTC

The main decision on whether to create a new adaptation or not is whether the lyrics are materially changed or not. In this case I’m not sure the changes are material.

While not definitive, another guide is whether the works have separate entries in the copyright databases.

Correct.

VirileVagabond

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 4728

VirileVagabond @ 2020-09-06 09:46:17 UTC

I would add that my position is that a recording that's clearly a parody should always get adaption treatment....

Jeff Chamberlain

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 1428

Jeff Chamberlain @ 2020-09-06 12:37:22 UTC

I'm not sure "material change" is right. I think it's more likely that you mean "change big enough to count." For example, changing the sex of the singer/object of a song is clearly a "material" change, but by itself has not been viewed as "enough to count."


One problem no matter how you structure the guideline seems to be that what is "enough to count" is almost entirely arbitrary.

______
JC

sebcat

Managing Editor
Posts: 5341

sebcat @ 2020-09-06 13:42:30 UTC

I'm not sure "material change" is right. I think it's more likely that you mean "change big enough to count." For example, changing the sex of the singer/object of a song is clearly a "material" change, but by itself has not been viewed as "enough to count."

Good point. It seems the guideline is related more to the proportion of the lyrics that have changed rather than the overall meaning.

One problem no matter how you structure the guideline seems to be that what is "enough to count" is almost entirely arbitrary.

You could put a percentage of lyric changed. But I really don’t think we want to go there. The current approach will catch most of cases. And the remainder we can discuss on the forum to agree the treatment, just as Dola has done here.

Bastien

Manager
Posts: 28714

Bastien @ 2020-09-06 17:03:00 UTC

I'm not sure "material change" is right. I think it's more likely that you mean "change big enough to count." For example, changing the sex of the singer/object of a song is clearly a "material" change, but by itself has not been viewed as "enough to count."

Good point. It seems the guideline is related more to the proportion of the lyrics that have changed rather than the overall meaning.

Rephrased as "substantial changes". Better?

https://secondhandsongs.com/page/Guidelines/Entities/Works/WorksCreation

Bastien

Manager
Posts: 28714

Bastien @ 2020-09-06 17:06:11 UTC

You could put a percentage of lyric changed. But I really don’t think we want to go there. The current approach will catch most of cases. And the remainder we can discuss on the forum to agree the treatment, just as Dola has done here.

I agree with Sebastian.

Jeff Chamberlain

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 1428

Jeff Chamberlain @ 2020-09-06 17:53:41 UTC

Bastien

I agree that "substantial changes" is better. It still doesn't really constitute a guideline. It's rather a conclusion without any standards suggested.

And why are we apparently limiting this to "lyrics?" I've found changes in in melody or tune-structures that do or don't constitute adaptations seemingly arbitrarily (to me).

______
JC

VirileVagabond

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 4728

VirileVagabond @ 2020-09-06 19:35:54 UTC

The obvious answer is to use the comments to address closer calls. Unfortunately some editors are allergic to downright hostile to using the comments field for this type of function.

Jeff Chamberlain

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 1428

Jeff Chamberlain @ 2020-09-07 01:55:31 UTC

Bastien

On reflection, I'm not sure "substantial changes" works very well, either. I can think of songs with "substantially" different lyrics that the database does not treat as adaptations. See, e.g., Hound Dog vs. Hound Dog


[And there are lots more like this, versions of songs with substantially different lyrics not treated as adaptations. I'm not -- here -- arguing that these songs should be called "adapations," but rather that "substantial changes" is not accurate given the database practices.]


Like I said, the whole subject has baffled me for years.

Last edit: 2020-09-09 02:57:56 UTC by Jeff Chamberlain

______
JC

Dola

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 8

Dola @ 2020-09-07 17:32:20 UTC

Thank you all for answering and trying to clarify things. Smile


As a non-native speaker "material changes" and "substantial changes" sound the same to me. Happy So I will probably seek discussion in the future as well, because I still find the guideline very vague. But as it is possible to ask for help or opinions I don't see a problem in that.

Quote by sebcat
You could put a percentage of lyric changed. But I really don’t think we want to go there. The current approach will catch most of cases.
I agree with sebcat. And I don't like the idea that a percentage could be set, because even if I can't think of an example right now, I believe that there are cases where it is enough to change just a single word of the lyrics and thus change the meaning of the song so much, that from my point of view it would be an adaptation. I may have a language barrier problem here with the word adaptation itself (I understand it as a kind of re-work and transferring one thing into another) and it may also be a problem in general here, how in different countries the line between cover and adaptation is defined, but I'm trying to give an example of why I think meaning should be more relevant in deciding whether or not it is an adaptation: if I take a love song and change just the word love to the word hate a sweet romantic song will become bitter and sad. Or if I have a line like she is all I need and change it to money is all I need, it feels like two completely different songs to me. So I would call it an adaptation because of just one word and subsequently a different meaning of the song.


By the way, I just noticed that almost every time I write "adaptation", I mysteriously lose a syllable. Wink I am glad that you obviously understand me anyway. Grin Grin Grin

Bastien

Manager
Posts: 28714

Bastien @ 2020-09-15 06:34:35 UTC

I agree that "substantial changes" is better.

Ok Smile

It still doesn't really constitute a guideline. It's rather a conclusion without any standards suggested.

Feel free to make a proposal including use case.

And why are we apparently limiting this to "lyrics?"

We are not limiting this to lyrics.

I've found changes in in melody or tune-structures that do or don't constitute adaptations seemingly arbitrarily (to me).

Example?

Bastien

Manager
Posts: 28714

Bastien @ 2020-09-15 06:37:37 UTC

The obvious answer is to use the comments to address closer calls.

Yes indeed.

Unfortunately some editors are allergic to downright hostile to using the comments field for this type of function.

Stop going there VV. Accusing people to act in bad faith and stirring up emotions ("allergic", "hostile") is irritating and doesn't help this project one step further. Please respect the Code of Conduct.

Bastien

Manager
Posts: 28714

Bastien @ 2020-09-15 06:48:20 UTC

I can think of songs with "substantially" different lyrics that the database does not treat as adaptations. See, e.g., Hound Dog vs. Hound Dog

Thanks for bringing up an example.


You ain't nothing but a hound dog = You ain't nothing but a hound dog

Crying all the time >< Been snoopin' 'round the door

Well, you ain't never caught a rabbit >< You can wag your tail

And you ain't no friend of mine >< But I ain't gonna feed you no more


[Verse]

When they said you was high classed = When they said you was high classed

Well, that was just a lie >< But I could see through that

Yeah, you ain't never caught a rabbit >< And daddy, I know

And you ain't no friend of mine >< You ain't no real cool cat


Until today I didn't realize the differences were that substantial. The minimum would be explanations in the comment section (I'm doing this right away), an adaptation could be considered. Feel free to create a error report on this entry.

Bastien

Manager
Posts: 28714

Bastien @ 2020-09-15 06:52:56 UTC

But as it is possible to ask for help or opinions I don't see a problem in that.

In general, that's always a good approach when working on the database.