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Copyright - lyrics and quotes

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Copyright - lyrics and quotes

Postby BJG145 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:52 pm

There might not be a definite yes/no answer to this...but, would people think there was a problem quoting a poetic five-word phrase from a well-known book within song lyrics...? Something to avoid, or not something to worry about...?
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Re: Copyright - lyrics and quotes

Postby blinddrew » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:33 pm

When was the book published? Where was it published? Where will you be publishing your tune?
Rules around fair use and fair dealing are quite different between the US, Canada, and the UK.
Personally I think it should be legally fine, and any sensible reading of the various copyright regimes should support that, but nobody has put me in charge yet. ;)
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Re: Copyright - lyrics and quotes

Postby BJG145 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:53 pm

UK book published in the noughties, UK song currently in progress...(not mine, but the author asked my opinion).
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Re: Copyright - lyrics and quotes

Postby blinddrew » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:48 pm

Difficult. I'll need to double check a few things but I think fair dealing covers books but i'll need to check around transformation.
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Re: Copyright - lyrics and quotes

Postby CS70 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:43 pm

From what I understand of UK copyright law you would need permission, especially if the sentences you use are a particular stand-out feature of the book, or poetry. If they are generic enough, probably not (the excerpt needs be "substantial") - but I guess it's not the case, as it would make no point in using them in a song.

And if they are particularly evocative or specific, it's only fair to do so. In practice of course it would likely depend on whether or not the song got any commercial traction..

But as it's a relatively recent book, the publisher is probably still in business and it's worth contacting it. At least you can document the attempt.
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