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    Song Title Information

    Jurisdiction / State: Ohio



    I've done a series of stories - for personal use - that I would like to assemble into a book. All proceeds from sale of the book will go to breast cancer research.

    My question:



    Will I have legal issues if I use only song titles as phraseology in the stories? For example:

    It's a quarter to three on one of those rainy days and Mondays, I'm in my room taking care of business when I hear a knock on wood. Eleanor Rigby steps in and says "I shot the sheriff."

    She goes on to tell him what happened. She gets convicted. His last thought "I'll always remember the night the lights went out in Georgia."

    Each of my stories tells it's own story. The actual title of the song is irrelevant to my story. The song titles are phraseology only.


    I obviously won't use song titles like The purple --- and Ob la---.

  2. thelawprofessor's Avatar
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    In general, song titles are not copyrightable, e.g. the words "I shot the sheriff" is not a work of authorship. Some song titles might be trademarked although I'm not sure it will present a real issue in your case for a variety of reasons, especially since most aren't being used in a way that is confusing and infringing. That's the best answer I can give off the top of my head but don't quote me if some overzealous group decides to be irrational. Best of luck with what sounds like a great project.
    Forum posts are not legal advice, are for educational purposes only & are not substitutes for proper consultation with legal counsel.

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