Using song lyrics in a hub

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  1. lambservant profile image92
    lambservantposted 3 years ago

    I am writing a hub about songs about friends. I would like to offer samples of lyrics from each song. What are the legal issues with this, since they are copyrighted songs?

    1. favored profile image35
      favoredposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      From what I have experienced you can use part of them and link it to the source.  If it is public domain you need to list that. Then there was one I used and it got flagged even though it was credited.  The way I was able to post one was on a photo with the lyrics printed on it. It went through fine.  So there you go. It seems crazy, but I think it depends on what kind of day the search engines are having. LOL

      Seriously, this is a touchy topic so best be safe by linking to the source.  This may help with your question concerning writers and legal issues. … al-issues/

    2. lisavollrath profile image95
      lisavollrathposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Because HubPages is a commercial venture, there is no Fair Use exemption that would allow the use of a line or two. Unless you obtain permission to use a portion of the lyrics, I would steer clear of using them in your text. It would be akin to someone "using" a portion of one of your articles, as written, in one of theirs.

      However, if a video of the song you're thinking of using is posted online by the artist or their publishing company, you might be able to use that, if embedding has not been disabled.

    3. relache profile image84
      relacheposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Quoting song lyrics is the most awesome way to trip the duplicate content filter on this site.  After Bible quotes of course.

  2. Shorebirdie profile image78
    Shorebirdieposted 3 years ago

    Generally, the courts have held up using small parts of a song or lyrics for review or analytical purposes in publications that talk specifically about that song or group of songs.  But, it's very risky.  Copyright law can be very tricky about such things and what is OK in one circumstance may not be OK in others.

  3. lafleurdeplume profile image61
    lafleurdeplumeposted 3 years ago

    Would it be possible to reference the song with a link to YouTube so interested readers can hear the song/lyrics? Without expressed permission, you must be really careful, but you can talk about specific song titles without any fear of copyright infringement...

  4. Dressage Husband profile image76
    Dressage Husbandposted 3 years ago

    Song performers and Karaoke bars etc. get around this issue by purchasing a performing arts license. These are available in all countries, but the regulations vary. When you purchase your license you have to describe what purpose you are going to be using the material for.

    I am not aware if Hubpages has one for the USA in general as this would cover the use on the site. Maybe Paul could consider this if he has not already, plus I am only familiar in how it is done in the UK. I applied for a performers license once.

    It is interesting as these licenses are required for businesses that play a radio or music over their PA (most businesses are not aware that this license is required). By publishing songs books, etc. that are for sale in the public domain you are saying that you relinquish some of your rights and the licensing authority remits royalties to the publisher and they to the artist/originator of the work.

    The rules for written work are similar but different and I am not sure if you can purchase a license to quote from books in the same way. I believe for these that you would need the permission of the owner of the rights to the work (this is not necessarily the author!).

    For music the writer actually passes on the rights to the licensing authority who protect his authorship by charging the fee and paying on the royalty. This means the author can not stop you, if you have the appropriate license, even if they do not approve of your use in practice.

    Before you publish anything I suggest you check out everything with the authority in your country and get HP staff to confirm they are happy with you using it. I believe Youtube is correctly licensed and under their terms the poster gives the right for the content to be further embedded unless they specifically exclude it when they post, if the author has done that then no-one can use that video period.

    I hope this clarifies the position for people, but it is quite complex and I am sure that Paul Edmonson and HP in general are trying to be seen to be complying with US legislation and also checking with their lawyers etc. that they do, and will inform us if anything changes.


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