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Thread: Quotations

  1. #1
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    Quotations

    In a novel I've written there are several songs, which I quote. Some from Simon and Garfunkel and also Mason Williams, all written in the 60s. I guess I need to get permission for that if it was published? Anyone know how that is done?



  2. #2
    Senior Member Lea Zalas's Avatar
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    Not sure how you go about it, but yes, you do need permission if you use any of the lyrics. Now if you just allude to the song title, that's not a problem. I guess you could start by googling 'how to get permission to use song lyrics.' LOL Sorry, I know it's lame. Maybe someone else will know how you go about it.

  3. #3
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    Lea, I guess it was a lame question. After I wrote it I did look up online and found some stuff saying I do need permission. So I looked up the two artists and found they have their own websites, so I could email them and hopefully get a reply.

  4. #4
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    Depending on the song and the artist, you may need to go through ASCAP or BMI. It can get very expensive to use song lyrics in books.

    Jeanne

  5. #5
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    Hmmm, maybe I'll make up some lyrics of my own, then.

  6. #6
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    If you don't have to do a direct quote, I think you're okay. Say you want to describe an Aerosmith song, instead of quoting it, say something like: on the jukebox, Steven Tyler was singing about love on an elevator. I might be wrong, but if you go to Absolute Write, there's a thread where you can ask experts or other writers with experience in dealing with specific questions like that. Good luck!!!

  7. #7
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    Isn't this song an old folk song? So I could use it, I think -

    . Music plays magically into the air, as if it were the air.
    “Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
    Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme,
    Remember me to the one who lives there,
    She once was a true love of mine…”

  8. #8
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    Yes, 'Scarborough Fair' is a traditional folk song, so using the lyrics should be okay.

  9. #9
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    Folk songs are fair game, although it's quite common for singers to add their own verses or rewrite traditional material until it might as well be be their own composition. 'Scarborough Fair' doesn't fall into this category, though!

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