In the movie, "The Perez Family," there was a scene that featured the band playing something like two lines of the song "I Will Survive" before there was a voice-over.
In my screenplay, I have the hero enter a karaoke contest singing "Girl From Ipahema," and if it were made into a movie, he'd be shown singing:
"Tall and tan and young and lovely
The girl from Ipanema goes walking
And when she passes
Each guy she passes goes aaah."
If a movie featured "all" of "nearly all" of these songs, the producers would have to pay royalties to the rights holders.
But what determines how much of an excerpt can they present without paying?
Are there any lawyers on the site that can cite "hard and fast" rules for this?
Or is it a "softer" process where you write to e.g. the William Morris Agency, and ask them how of much the song one can use without paying?