There are many songs related to Astrid Lindgren, her books and her characters. At The Astrid Lindgren Company, we are often asked about what rules apply when songs are being performed publicly or when someone wants to record any of her songs. Here we would like to tell you a little bit more about our views on the songs.
Originally, most of the songs were written for a play or as a soundtrack to a film. The role of the music was then to enhance the visual storytelling or mood the director or Astrid Lindgren herself was looking for. The songs are almost exclusively written to be performed by a certain character. They are written to be performed by children for children and the lyrics are formed to fit that bill.
Some extraordinary composers have made sure that many of the songs are true classics today and they are performed by people in all kinds of situations. We think it’s great that Ida’s summer song is performed at almost all Swedish schools at the end of the spring term and that the songs are so popular at sing-along events.
All songs have at least two rights owners, as they all consist of both lyrics and music. For translations of lyrics, there is an additional right for the new version. The Astrid Lindgren Company owns the rights to Astrid Lindgren’s lyrics. But the rights to the songs (music and lyrics) are managed by music publishers. If you want to use the lyrics in a songbook, for instance, you need to contact the music publisher. The rights to the music are often – but not always – owned by the publisher and individual composers owns the rights to decide over their part of the whole.
Anyone who wants to record a CD or publish a songbook simply contacts the publishing company that manages the rights and signs a contract with them.
If the songs are going to be performed publicly, live or via recording, it must be reported to the local performing rights society. The person responsible for the event where the songs are being performed is also responsible for reporting to the local performing rights society. If you are not certain, never hesitate to contact STIM.
Sometimes when plays are set up, the question of composing new music comes up. We prefer that the original music is used, as it is of great quality and created in close cooperation with Astrid Lindgren herself. But sometimes there is a need to create something new, and in those cases it is of course important to make sure that the music fits the story. It must always be done in collaboration with the theatre publisher and The Astrid Lindgren Company.
As the songs are so closely connected to the stories and the characters, we are not in favour of them being used in advertising or other promotions for products or services. Astrid Lindgren’s characters can only promote themselves. A certain song can, of course, advertise a record or a theatre play where it’s featured, but it cannot promote anything outside the context of the world of Astrid Lindgren. Furthermore, lyrics may never be extracted for use in other situations. Nor is it okay to provide the songs with new or altered lyrics.
If you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
STIM is an organisation for the protection of music copyrights. They work for the composers and their publishing houses, managing and selling rights for music and lyrics. www.stim.se.
Music publisher Gazell Music focuses on Swedish copyright. Among the most important pieces it manages are the songs from Astrid Lindgren’s and Georg Riedl’s “Emil in Lönneberga”. www.gazell.net.
Nordiska Musikförlaget/Warner Chappell manages the rights to the songs Luffarvisan by Gösta Linderholm and Kattvisan by Lille Bror Söderlundh. www.warnerchappell.setkråkan, and no such piece of music may be published or commercialised without consent from The Astrid Lindgren Company.