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Thread: Use of music titles/artist names

  1. #1
    figuring it all out Scottish Writer's Avatar
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    Use of music titles/artist names

    Hello,

    Back with another daft question...

    My female character is a bit of a music buff and she listens to a lot of it in my story. Am I infringing rights if I name the titles of songs and artists that she listens to in my story?
    "There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were and ask why not." - Robert F Kennedy

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    practical experience, FTW amschilling's Avatar
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    What James said. As long as you're not using lyrics, you're fine.
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    Been a long time... OneTeam OneDream's Avatar
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    Just thirding....it's only the lyrics that could get you in trouble. However getting permission is easier than you may think (at least in my experience in two never finished books)

  5. #5
    figuring it all out Scottish Writer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the quick replies folks. Much appreciated
    "There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were and ask why not." - Robert F Kennedy

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    figuring it all out eyebee14's Avatar
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    I was curious about this too! Thank you for the responses! You answered my question!
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  7. #7
    Gypsy, wasted from the hips down. Melanie Dawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amschilling View Post
    What James said. As long as you're not using lyrics, you're fine.
    just to beat a dead horse..this^^
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    Hush, hush... Calliea's Avatar
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    I asked my law teacher about this a while ago, she said that even quoting a part of lyrics is fine, because it goes under some 'quotation' privileges... She used a smarter word, but I only remembered her point, sorry
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyebee14 View Post
    I was curious about this too! Thank you for the responses! You answered my question!

    Same here! I mean I knew it was OK to mention a real-life famous person in the story. I see authors doing it sometimes, but I wasn't sure if it was OK to mention a specific song, although I knew that it's not OK to mention lyrics. Getting permission from the songwriter/record label, to use lyrics is a total hassle and it's not worth it anyway, in my opinion.

  10. #10
    Gypsy, wasted from the hips down. Melanie Dawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calliea View Post
    I asked my law teacher about this a while ago, she said that even quoting a part of lyrics is fine, because it goes under some 'quotation' privileges... She used a smarter word, but I only remembered her point, sorry
    I was told lyrics was altogether a no-no. but if you decided to use em, you'd better give the writer of said lyrics credit.
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  11. #11
    Girl Detective AW Moderator Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    I do it all the time in my books, and then create playlists for the songs mentioned on iTunes.
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  12. #12
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacia Kane View Post
    I do it all the time in my books, and then create playlists for the songs mentioned on iTunes.
    Wait, you mean all those bands and song names are real? I thought they were all made up.

    Gee, I think we can guess who's not exactly au fait with the contemporary music scene....

  13. #13
    Girl Detective AW Moderator Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    Wait, you mean all those bands and song names are real? I thought they were all made up.

    Gee, I think we can guess who's not exactly au fait with the contemporary music scene....
    The only made-up ones are the ones who perform live. And most of them are somewhat obscure, being punk bands and not stuff you'd hear on the radio. But yeah...real bands, real songs.



    BTW:

    Quote Originally Posted by Calliea View Post
    I asked my law teacher about this a while ago, she said that even quoting a part of lyrics is fine, because it goes under some 'quotation' privileges... She used a smarter word, but I only remembered her point, sorry
    I wonder if your law teacher was talking about the Fair Use Doctrine? Either way, it's very odd advice for a law teacher to give (are you sure she knew you were referring to quoting lyrics in a novel for sale, an not, say, in a term paper?), because there's a good chance that quoting even part of a lyric is not in fact fine. Because Fair Use requires that the usage be a small/"not substantial" portion of the quoted work (along with other restrictions), and because most songs are not very long...quoting songs can get you into trouble, legally and/or financially, in a novel you're trying to sell. And technically only a court can decide whether or not the quote in question falls under Fair Use, so even if your usage does, you can still end up paying out quite a bit of money in legal fees.

    I have a friend who has to give up a portion of every dollar she makes on a particular book because the writer of the song in question saw his/her lyrics quoted without permission and decided that wasn't on. She has to do all the calculations and paperwork, too.

    It's not a situation you want to get into.


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