I just spent most of the day trying to get permission to use six lines of a song lyric in my novel. I don't know if I'll ever get it. But my eyes are blurry and I'm cranky, so what better place to rant.
Google took me to the ASCAP ACE Database (whatever that is). I entered the song title and singer. It listed three companies. The first one was Brenda Richie Publishing and since the singer is Lionel Richie I thought, "Gotcha!"
I called them but was told to send an email to someone whose email was listed along with the phone number. She responded almost right away. She was a paralegal at a law firm. She said the ASCAP database was hard to use and ensured me that Warner/Chappell Music was the 100% copyright owner.
So I Googled them and called their L.A. office. Left a message, but got no return call. So I called their NY office and was told to call Alfred Music Publishing Co and was given a phone number.
The message at Alfred was to do the request on their website. I filled the form out, but a lot of the information couldn't be put in (company name, price of book, publisher, format (hard copy, soft copy), number of copies, etc.), so I put n/a in those spots. They also wanted a book synopsis. I used that box to tell them what I wanted and why. Then there was another box which I used to show them a sample of what it would look like.
Now I have to wait up to 45 days to find out if they'll give me the permission to use six lines of a copyrighted song.