the answer is yes, they need to get permission... there are some exceptions.
Yes, Disney's Legal team will go after you... No, they will not settle (draggin out all lawsuits as long as possable is their strategy to insure agianst frivolous law suits)... The problem however is when they lose, they often lose big...
There are some cases however they should have settled...
I think there's a big grey area with that. Some of that David Rose, Lawrence Welk Christmas stuff.....the copyrights may have expired. A lot of that stuff is out of print.
(One of my favorite articles on this site discusses the famous main street christmas loop, where Lutz tries to piece together all the songs! Love that !)
The "Spirit of Christmas" CD that is passed out to cast members--- I don't think any of that is under copyright, and it's not an official CD sold to the public---though I certainly wish it was.
I'm not sure if you need permission to play those songs, in the exact order and style in which they are played on Main Street at Christmas......and given that they weren't created by Disney in the first place.
Again, I don't know, but would love to get my hands on a Disney--"Spirit of Christmas" CD......bootleg or not!!! Just kidding.
I don't know exactly, because I don't work for Disney.
But, I heard through the grapevine (ahem) that there was a special Christmas CD passed out to all the cast members, called "Spirit Of Christmas". It's (supposedly) not an official CD marketed to the public. It was just something that was un-officially done as a Holiday gift to employees.
What this mysterious CD has on it, allegedly, are the special Disneyland Main Street Christmas Loops, and if you read Lutz's article on Christmas Main Street Loops........you find out that the special Main Street Christmas Loop is extremely rare, with many of those songs out-of-print, and (myself) near desperate to have that material.
At Christmastime, some of the Cast Members were simply giving guests copies of "Spirit Of Christmas"......There's been some talk that these unofficial CDs may find their way to E-Bay, or that there may be a couple lying around the back shelves of the Emporium etc...
Absolutely, Disney should publicly market "Spirit Of Christmas". Especially, since most of those Christmas songs played on the Holiday Main Street Loop are out-of-print.
I've been trying for years to get ahold of the Main Street Christmas Loop and those hard-to-find songs they play at Holiday time.