1. Mordecai
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    Mordecai Member

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    Is it plagerism if...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Mordecai, Apr 7, 2008.

    If you're writing a story with lines thrown in there from a specific song by a specific artist. It's not actually involved with the writing though. Say if someone started singing the lyrics to "artist" and you had that in dialogue, that wouldn't be plagerism would it? I see this often in various novels and always wondered if the authors ever had to get permission to do so. Any help would be great, thanks.
     
  2. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    It wouldn't be plagerism because you aren't using someone else's work precisely as your work. Instead you are just making an allusion to another work, which is something often used in stories as you said. Still, with copyright laws you may just want to be careful what song lyrics you place in your story, but as long as you don't claim it is yours it should be allright.
     
  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mordecai,

    You might want to read this link: Copyright-Fair Use

    For a specific literary/fiction example, if you've ever read The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom, there is a song's refrain (You Made Me Love You), that is used several times in the novel.

    The most the author used:
    You made me love you
    I didn't want to do it
    (repeat this line)
    (Repeat first line)
    And all the time you knew it (repeat this line)

    Thus, the author used 6 lines maximum. If one reads the copyright page/publishing info at the beginning of the novel, the song is listed separately by name, Copyright 1913 (Renewed) and then goes to list the composer, who currently owns the rights, etc. Then states: All rights reserved. Use by permission.

    Hope this info helps point you in the right direction.

    Terry
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    All identifiable elements copied from another source must be properly attributed. Fair Use identifies when you can (and cannot) use such material within your own work without having to obtain prior written permission from the original author. Regardless of whether the included content constitutes fair use, you still must acknowledge the source.
     
  5. EagleSpirit
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    EagleSpirit New Member

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    Yeah... agree with the comments above, but I think it would always be wise to either appropriate/take little bits, get permission, or don't do it at all...

    Just some friendly advice...
     

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