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Use of lyrics in social media Copyright

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by LetterWriter, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. LetterWriter

    LetterWriter Law Topic Starter Guest

    I have two questions regarding the use of song lyrics/poems/quotes. I am a calligrapher and post daily to Instagram/FB, different sayings and quotes etc. Am I infringing on copyright for simply recreating the words in my own handwriting and sharing them via social media? Even if there is no monetary gain?

    2. If I did want to pursue trying to sell my handwritten recreations on mugs, cards, etc., would I be able to request limited use from the copyright owner or is that even possible?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    You should read this article about song lyrics and copyright and trademark law. Many song lyrics quotes are too short to be protected by copyright law. But this shouldn't be taken as absolute, especially when the select group of words might be unique and fanciful and part of a trademarked slogan. You'll see that many sell t-shirts with a few words that many identify with a song but are not able to be copyrighted or trademarked. Always be aware of these and any other intellectual property right that might exist before proceeding with business and best to obtain a legal opinion from an experienced intellectual property attorney.

    Apologies on the late reply.
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Monetary gain has nothing to do with the possibility of getting sued for infringement although if you aren't doing it for money all you might get is a nasty cease and desist letter.

    Here's two more articles that might help you figure this out:

    Using Famous Quotes On Products: When Is It OK?

    Copyright Protection for Short Phrases – Rich Stim

    Yes, absolutely possible, and recommended.

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