Good news for all you Deadheads! Ice Nine Publishing, the controlling organization for the Grateful Dead's music has agreed to allow E2 to host the lyrics for any of their songs with the condition that Ice Nine Publishing be credited in the writeup. While I still highly suggest that you explicate your lyrics and follow the E2 Lyrics Noding Standard, because of this special permission, you are not bound by the fair use limitations as specified in E2 FAQ: Copyrighted Material.

To get this permission, I followed the advice I later noded in "Using copyrighted works" (my original email was not quite as formal as it should have been and did not include all the information it should have - this was a learning experience). Though it took me a few tries to find the right contact person, here is the correspondence that took place:

Request: August 11, 2003

Mr. Trist,

I was referred to you by David Dodd (webmaster of The Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics at

I was wondering what the policy was on the use of Grateful Dead Lyrics. Specifically I am interested in placing some lyrics on a public, non-commercial1 web site. I do not want to violate any copyrights, so was wondering if you had an official policy regarding these types of situations. I was hoping that with The Dead's open policy of taping at concerts, there might be a similar policy for lyrics, but Mr. Dodd has informed me that this is not the case. Any information is appreciated.

Thank you,

{My name and contact information}

Response: August 11, 2003 (the same day!)

{My name},
No policy, everything on a case by case basis. It's a question of the context of lyric use, i.e. no advertising, no egregious context and so on. This is a different matter from allowing tape trading. If you could give me the url of your website, we could determine the appropriateness of permission.


Alan Trist
P.O. Box 1073
San Rafael, CA 94915
(415) 258-1542
(415) 454-6474 fax

Request: August 12, 2003

Mr. Trist,

Thank you for your prompt reply. Let me explain the site in question:

The web site, Everything2 (, seeks to be an online reference for, well, everything. It is a site that allows registered users to submit write-ups on any subject they are interested in, and includes facts as well as fiction. Because of this, numerous fans have submitted lyrics by their favorite artists, some of which include lyrics by the Grateful Dead. These were all submitted by various users with the belief that they fell under the "Fair Use" clause of the copyright law. Some example of existing Dead material follow, though you can find more examples using the search feature on the site:

{I list several urls to some pre-existing lyric nodes}

Recently the site administrators (of which I am NOT a member of; I'm just a concerned registered user of the site) enacted a new policy on the placement of copyrighted materials on the site which prompted my original email. If you are interested, the policy can be read at

While I have not submitted any Grateful Dead lyrics myself, I thought that with The Dead's open policies on other issues, this would be a good place to start. If you like or agree with the new conditions the site administrators have set, great! Please let me know whether it is okay to keep the lyrics that are already there and/or add new lyrics. If you would like the lyrics removed, please let me know this as well, but by default they will probably be removed in the near future.

Thank you for your consideration,

{Blah blah contact information blah}

Response: August 12, 2003 (Victory!)

{My name},
I have reviewed the site and these archival uses of Ice Nine material are fine. The Everything2 Administration's proposed copyright notices etc. are fine too. Ice Nine Publishing Company should be credited. With that caveat, I have no objection to the use you propose.


Alan Trist
{Same contact information as above}

Below is a semi-complete list of many of the Grateful Dead's songs that can and should be noded. It is difficult to list all of them because of the improvisational nature of the Grateful Dead, all their live performances, and their love of jam sessions. If you see something missing, let me know and I'll add it. Feel free to link to this writeup in any of your Grateful Dead lyric writeups so that the Content Editors don't accidentally remove your writeup during the copyright purge.

Note: As stated in my email to Alan Trist, I do not currently have any Grateful Dead lyric nodes. I did this just to see if I could do it. So now you know, it is possible.

1 I have been informed by dem bones that The Everything Development Company (and therefore Everything2) is technically not a non-commercial web site. Please do not make my mistake in any of your request letters. You may say that you do not stand to make any money off the placement of the lyrics.

Grateful Dead

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