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Rated: 13+ · Message Forum · Writing.Com · #100931
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Oct 6, 2019 at 7:33am
#3298410
Re: Copyright Concerns
by Steven
Went through this with my book recently. I had the lyrics for a song, the publisher's lawyer said no, so we alluded to it.

Basically, the law is this: You need to get permission. Unless it is an independent release, there are three parties you need to contact - the songwriter and/or their representatives, the music publisher, and the large entertainment conglomerate who probably owns it all. They can, of course, refuse. Van Morrison does this - a blanket "No". But, most likely, they will charge you. This can range from a few thousand dollars (yes, that is where it tends to start) to many thousands of dollars plus a percentage cut of the gross (not net) profits (this is what you pay to use The Beatles' lyrics). They might refuse if they think your work will be too small; it is generally accepted that they will refuse ALL self-published requests (especially Universal). Some artists refuse to appear in certain genres (The Radfords won't allow their lyrics in YA works, for example).

What I was told - and this was reiterated by a university lecturer (I'm studying professional writing) - is this: do not use any song lyrics ever. Sony even take down YouTube videos that use their music without permission. No warning - just gone.

The use of movie quotes is a little dodgier, and I am currently having the Australian Artist Law Society examining my use of a movie quote (acknowledged as such) in my current novel.

Back to music. If you have the line:
She looked at him and started to sing, "When I see my baby, what do I see? Poetry... Poetry in motion..."
Forget it. But if you had:
She looked at him and started to sing the old Johnny Tillotson hit 'Poetry In Motion'.
That's not an issue. Even:
She looked at him and satrted to sing about seeing him and it being poetry.
as clunky as that may be, it is still acceptable because there is only an allusion to the song without a direct quote.

Anyway, I hope that helps.
MESSAGE THREAD
Copyright Concerns · 10-06-19 1:58am
by ⚓ApplebobbingBrad ⚓
Re: Copyright Concerns · 10-06-19 3:32am
by Northernwrites
*Star* Re: Copyright Concerns · 10-06-19 7:33am
by Steven
Re: Copyright Concerns · 10-06-19 10:08am
by Zen
Re: Re: Copyright Concerns · 10-06-19 10:27am
by ⚓ApplebobbingBrad ⚓
Re: Re: Re: Copyright Concerns · 10-06-19 4:05pm
by Northernwrites

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