Chapter 164: The Music Copyright to “When Will the Moon Be Clear and Bright”?
Zhang Ye napped a little while at his apartment.
At around 10 A.M., an unknown number called in.
“Hello.” Zhang Ye yawned as he answered the call.
“Hello, is this Teacher Zhang Ye?” It was a woman’s voice on the other side. It was a matured, crisp voice, “My name is Fang Weihong. You might not know me. But I believe you know Zhang Yuanqi’s name? I am her manager and I received your contact information from the television station. I’m sorry if I’m disturbing you. Let me say this directly. We would like your help.”
Got my contact information from the television station?
Zhang Yuanqi did not give you my cell phone number?
Only then did Zhang Ye understand that the Heavenly Queen had not told anyone that they knew each other already. True, having met twice and with an ambiguous relationship, to the point of even spending the night alone by themselves together, this wasn’t exactly something you’d say to people. “What help?”
“Do you have time now?” Fang Weihong asked.
“Yes, today is my rest day.” Zhang Ye was, in fact, already waiting for her.
Fang Weihong said, “It’s not convenient to speak over the phone, Let’s meet up and have a detailed chat. Where do you live? Send me your address and I will arrange for you to be picked up. I’ve been reading news online. It seems that you have a lot things going on recently, so I called to make sure that you were free.”
Zhang Ye did not say too much, “Okay, I will send you my address.”
“Okay. Thank you. We will see you then.” Fang Weihong hung up.
About 20 minutes later, the driver called Zhang Ye to inform him of his arrival. Zhang Ye looked outside and saw a car brand that belonged to this world. He did not know the label well, but it looked like a high-end car. It looked like they really wanted his help. But they really should have disclosed a little information. What help did they want? What if this bro can’t help at all? Then wouldn’t all these be for nothing?
In a shopping district.
At a high-end commercial building.
The car stopped and the driver opened the door for Zhang Ye. At the building, the driver spoke to the woman at the front desk and she made a call.
In a short while, Fang Weihong appeared in the lobby. She was a 30-odd-year-old woman. She was not very pretty, but she looked very capable. In fact, it should be said that she was someone who tied up things up neatly. Otherwise, Zhang Yuanqi would not have trusted her to be her manager.
Fang Weihong looked around and said, “Teacher Zhang?”
Zhang Ye looked at her, then shook her hands, “You must be Sister Fang, I heard of your great name.” Actually, he had never heard of her before, but this was just conversation chatter, so he had to say things like that.
“Come, let’s proceed upstairs and talk along the way.” Fang Weihong, who was wearing flats, ushered him towards to elevator. She said, “Actually, I was supposed to be the one fetching you here, but I had something to attend to at the last minute. Please don’t mind. It wasn’t convenient to speak over the phone regarding our request, as it’s a commercial secret. It’s better if we speak face to face. You will know once we are upstairs.”
Ding, the elevator reached their floor.
The two of them entered a very large music recording studio. There were about eight or nine people in there, and Zhang Ye immediately noticed Zhang Yuanqi.
“Sister Zhang.” Fang Weihong also addressed her as Sister. It was not known if this was an age thing or just a respectful way of addressing her.
Zhang Yuanqi looked over, smiling, “Weihong is back? This is?” She acted like she was clueless.
Fang Weihong wasn’t aware of it and introduced, “Let me do the introductions. This is Teacher Zhang Ye.” While looking at Zhang Ye, “Teacher Zhang, I guess I don’t really need to introduce Sister Zhang?”
Zhang Yuanqi reached out her hand and said gently, smiling, “How are you doing, Teacher Zhang? It’s my pleasure to meet you.”
“Hello, Sister Zhang.” Zhang Ye also played along and shook her hand. This was his first time seeing Zhang Yuanqi smiling so kindly. He was really not used to it.
After a while, the people in the room all looked at Zhang Ye with concerned looks.
Zhang Ye was a little uncomfortable, “Sister Zhang, Sister Fang, what is it that you need me here for today?”
“Didn’t Weihong tell you?” Zhang Yuanqi smiled. “Actually, we would like to purchase a copyright from you.”
Zhang Ye blinked a few times, “Buy my copyright? I don’t have any copyrights right now.” “Analysis of the Three Kingdoms” had already been sold, and “Ghost Blows Out the Light” was already considered as sold off, too. Wait, the movie rights to “Ghost Blows Out the Light” were still available. But even if Zhang Yuanqi wanted to shoot the movie, it wouldn’t be her who would be buying the rights. That would have been handled by the production company.
The three of them sat down.
Fang Weihong explained, “It’s like this, Teacher Zhang. We would like to buy the rights to ‘Shuidiao Getou’. Actually, it isn’t really buying the copyright, but we would like your approval as the original composer. Because the lyrics have a lot of potential in our view, we would like to make it into a song to be sung by Sister Zhang. We would like to use the lyrics and compose the music for it. This would be a win-win situation. Your lyrics would become more well-known too.”
Zhang Ye was stunned.
The copyright to “Shuidiao Getou”?
What? Even in this world, there were people eyeing it?
But Zhang Ye replied determinedly, “I’m sorry, but I can’t help you with this. If you wanted to use any other lyrics of mine, I can give the copyright to you all for free. Sister Zhang…. I also admire her a lot, and her movies and songs, too. So money is not an issue. But this set of lyrics, I definitely cannot give up the copyrights.”
“Why?” Fang Weihong frowned.
Zhang Ye waved it off, “Anyway, I cannot help with this matter. I’m sorry.”
The few staff members who heard this became unhappy. Zhang Yuanqi was, after all, an S-list Heavenly Queen and wanted to use your poem to make a song. This was such a great opportunity. If it happened to anyone else, they would be more than happy to sell it. But you, why do you have such an attitude? Not selling? Why would you want to keep the lyrics for? Besides, even if you wanted to publish it, the copyrights were separate issues. There was no conflict at all!
A few musicians by the side also did not look too happy.
“Who is this person?”
“He is the author of ‘Shuidiao Getou’.”
“He’s putting on such airs? Is he very famous?”
“Compared with Sister Zhang, definitely not. I don’t know what he’s thinking either.”
Zhang Yuanqi laughed, “Why not let Teacher Zhang listen to the melody first?”
Fang Weihong had already expected things to not go so smoothly, so she had already made other plans. This was why she had not informed Zhang Ye of the details beforehand and made him come down to this place. She was worried that if Zhang Ye did not agree, at least they could try to persuade him in person by letting him hear the composed melody for the song. If it was an ancient poem, the copyright laws would not apply, as the original author had already passed away many years ago.
But Zhang Ye’s “Shuidiao Getou” was recently composed, and the copyrights would naturally still belong to him and not to any companies. Therefore, if they wanted to use the lyrics, they needed Zhang Ye’s approval. Otherwise, they could not use it. “Alright, Teacher Zhang. Please listen to it first. You might even change your mind. Hur hur. We must confess to you first that without your agreement, we have instructed a few composers do up the melody for the song.”
Zhang Ye really did not want to sell, “I feel there’s no need for it. Why not consider my other lyrics? Like ‘Lyrics to Remembering Your Charm – Remembrance of the Tale of the Crimson Cliff’? I can let you use it for free.”
Zhang Yuanqi did not feel too annoyed and laughed, “The lyrics for those are too descriptive and not suitable to be used as song lyrics. The setting and mood also aren’t too suitable for me, a woman, to sing.”
Fang Weihong just said, “Let’s have a listen anyway.”
By the side, the musician nodded and signaled to a staff member.
The staff member went over to the console and played a pre-recorded song. It wasn’t Zhang Yuanqi’s voice, but another woman’s. Her singing was so-so. It was just a song sample, “When will the dear moon be clear and bright. With a cup of wine in my hand, I ask the dear clear sky. In the heavens, on this dear night, I wonder, what season…” There were a few words added in between, and some of the words and phrases had been changed.
Fang Weihong introduced, “The song’s mainstream popularity characteristics are quite strong. With small modifications to the original lyrics and adding some chorus words, it still keeps the original’s feel to it.”
Zhang Yuanqi looked at Zhang Ye, “What do you think?”
Zhang Ye shook his head, “It’s not nice. The pop song characteristics are too much. There’s no ancient feel to the whole song, so it doesn’t suit the lyrics settings and feel.”
The musician couldn’t bear it any longer and asked directly, “But this is a pop song. If it’s not pop-like and without a catchy melody, how would it be called a pop song?” This song was probably composed by him.
“This is Wang Ge, the composer. He has written 4 or 5 songs for Sister Zhang before.” Fang Weihong introduced.
Wang Ge vowed, “I guarantee that if you use my melody, the song will definitely be very popular!”
Zhang Yuanqi smiled and said, “Little Wang, don’t be too anxious. Take a seat and let Teacher Zhang listen to another one.”
Wang Ge had to give Sister Zhang face, so he kept quiet and sat down to listen.
Fang Weihong signaled to the staff member, then said to Zhang Ye, “The next melody was composed by another composer. Its ancient feel is stronger and the melody is a little special.”
The next song played.
This time, a beautiful voice voice sang. The feel was quite suitable, but the melody did not sound good!
After listening for a long while, Zhang Ye still did not have any interest, “This tune is not nice. It’s too obscure.” He wasn’t a professional, so he could only say it based on his feelings.
Zhang Yuanqi laughed superficially, “Then let’s listen to the next one. It’s the last one?”
“Yes, our team composed three melodies. This is the last one.” Fang Weihong said.
The last composer said, “Let me sing and play it myself. I wasn’t too satisfied with the recording Little Yang did because it was too rushed.” So he went over and picked up a guitar and proceeded to sing, “The moon rounds the red mansion! Stoops to silk-padded doors! Shines upon the sleepless!” He had pushed the stanzas at the back forward as the first line, and had done it following that of rock.
Once it was over, Fang Weihong looked to Zhang Ye for his opinions, “Teacher Zhang, what do you think?”
Zhang Ye waved dismissively, “They are all not nice. I said it before, this song’s rights, I really do not want to sell it. Let’s forget it.” It wasn’t that he did not give face to Zhang Yuanqi. But Zhang Ye already had other plans for this lyrics. If he sold off this copyright to them, the lyrics would be ruined. The end product would definitely not do well, too!