Songs and their lyrics often inspire me and give me new ideas, and lately I've been thinking of working the parts of song lyrics that inspired me into the dialog, especially for characters I thought of when listening to the song. If I wanted to have a character say a small part of the lyrics of a song, is this legal? I imagine in most cases it'd only be around 4-10 words. The characters wouldn't be singing the song; they would just be saying parts of the lyrics as though they thought of it themselves. Would it make any difference if I paraphrased or slightly altered the lyrics? As a quick example, the song "Son of Sam" by Shinedown says "they ain't never seen a war like me"; could I have a character say "You've never seen a war like me"? Also, could I quote/paraphrase other people's quotes, and act like my characters are thinking of this themselves? Some examples: Could I paraphrase...: "I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man's being unable to sit still in a room." -Blaise Pascal ...to something like this: "I believe that all human evil comes from man being unable to just sit still in a room." I imagine this would be pretty fitting if the dead started to rise - could I paraphrase this...: "There are more dead people than living, and their numbers are increasing." -Eugene Ionesco ...to something like this: "There are more dead people than living, and they're starting to actively increase their numbers." Sorry if this has been asked before. I searched for similar things, but I only found questions where people wanted to quote songs directly and have characters singing the songs; I'm thinking more of just working it into dialog, sometimes subtly. If I were doing something like this, I would want to put an index at the end of the book that notes on everything that was quoted/paraphrased and the page it was on (if that makes it any more legal).