First it was Facebook; now we need Twitter to get out messages fast enough. My friend’s kids call the tiny wheel that spins when your computer is uploading: “the wheel of death.” Wait time is hell.
But people in the Permissions business do not live in our same world. They labor in Manhattan’s oldest buildings, buildings with index card size windows, holed up behind graffiti-scratched wood desks, in rooms with poor ventilation. They nestle behind stacks of requests for lyric or text excerpts. These people have rheumy eyes, bad posture, poor eating habits and travel by horse and buggy. They do not work the Internet.
How else can one explain why, four months after I’ve hired a permissions freelancer (another expense) who filed a request to use eight words of lyrics: Jumping Jack Flash it’s a gas, gas, gas…” do I not yet have any response from permission? My new theory is that, contrary to their stated moral position, permissions people are not in the business of saving artists but of starving artists by taking so damn long to give rights, therefore money, to their work. Meantime, they hold up any and all new book publications. This turns writers into individualist a-holes; why excerpt any other artists’ words when cost tons of money and time?
Factoid: You’d have to be Mother Teresa nowadays to include excerpts of others’ work.
Update: A month later (5 months total), I am given permission to print those 8 words for $210. Someone responds; “that’s cheap!”