1. originalsin
    Offline

    originalsin New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Possible copyright issues with book?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by originalsin, Nov 11, 2011.

    Could there be any copyright issues, or grounds to sue, over a book that takes lyrics from various artists and attempts to establish a common meaning through out the symbolism in the songs?

    For example what if a particular artist doesn't want people to know what their song is about, and I write about my interpretation which would not be slanderous in any way. Assuming the book was actually published would they have any rights to come back at me for that or is it against their rights?
     
  2. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,056
    Likes Received:
    5,259
    Location:
    California, US
    You're talking about Fair Use. That's a highly fact-specific area of the law, so it is hard to give generalizations. The fact that you're dealing with a sort of academic analysis works in your favor; if you sell a book it works against you. How much of the lyrics of any given song you use is also a factor. If you are not using the songs in their entirety, but just pieces of them, that helps. Keep in mind, however, that if someone sues you it is going to cost you a lot of money to fight it out in court even if you are right, and if you're talking about famous musicians then they have the money to go after you if they want to. You could always seek permission to use the lyrics.
     
  3. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    if it's written for profit, it may not fall under the 'fair use' exception to the copyright laws... this is an issue you absolutely need to discuss with a literary attorney, before spending any time writing such a book, imo...
     
  4. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,056
    Likes Received:
    5,259
    Location:
    California, US
    Whether the work is commercial or for-profit is only one factor in the Fair Use determination, and such works can fall under the Fair Use doctrine. But it tends to be an important factor (though being somewhat de-emphasized in some circuits), and commercial use works against you.
     
  5. originalsin
    Offline

    originalsin New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanks for the help guys, it seems the best idea may be to refrain from starting this type of book until later down the road
     

Share This Page