Soundtracks for Novels: legal issues?


Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 37

Thread: Soundtracks for Novels: legal issues?

  1. #1

    Soundtracks for Novels: legal issues?

    I know nothing about this, I've got to admit.

    I've seen a fair amount of authors compile soundtracks to their novels and post it on their website, along with a few lyrics from the songs that point clearly to how the song and lyrics relate to their novel at various points. I've also seen soundtracks printed in the back of some of novels. With both, no permission has been gained to ask if their titles etc can be used as a soundtrack to that novel.

    If you're listing tracks and lines from various artists, also tieing them to your work in a promotional way by placing it on your author website, isn't this going against copyright? When I see it, it always makes me feel uncomfortable. I'm just not sure where the law stands on it.
    "You don't wanna ride the bus like this,"

    Mike Posner.



  2. #2
    Member Irwin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    383
    Blog Entries
    20
    You could probably use the song titles without infringing on copyright protection--especially if you just say that you were inspired by the song. That's just a statement of fact. But you could be sued if you use the actual lyrics, unless of course, you get permission, which you should probably also do with the song titles, also, just out of respect.

    It takes a lot of work to write a song, and a lot of talent to write a good song, so don't steal somebody else's creativity.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Irwin View Post
    You could probably use the song titles without infringing on copyright protection--especially if you just say that you were inspired by the song. That's just a statement of fact. But you could be sued if you use the actual lyrics, unless of course, you get permission, which you should probably also do with the song titles, also, just out of respect.

    It takes a lot of work to write a song, and a lot of talent to write a good song, so don't steal somebody else's creativity.
    No, this isn't with mine, but with other authors I've seen.
    "You don't wanna ride the bus like this,"

    Mike Posner.



  4. #4
    Member Umree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA, USA
    Posts
    130
    Blog Entries
    4
    I remember reading Nick Hornby's About a Boy is high school and thinking about his use of lyrics in the book. My English teacher at the time said something about how you can include song titles and reference small snippets freely, but longer excerpts require permission from the artist.

    I feel like the laws governing this are similar to those related to plunderphonics. I think there the rule is that your song samples can't exceed 16 seconds. Perhaps quoting lyrics freely without permission is constrained to only a few words?

  5. #5
    I was told by a publisher you cannot use a song title in any fiction piece unless you have express written consent from the copyright owner. Because it borderlines on "fair use" publishers will not touch it BUT is you are self publishing

    In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. In other words, fair use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement. If your use qualifies as a fair use, then it would not be considered an infringement.
    So what is a “transformative” use? If this definition seems ambiguous or vague, be aware that millions of dollars in legal fees have been spent attempting to define what qualifies as a fair use. There are no hard-and-fast rules, only general guidelines and varied court decisions, because the judges and lawmakers who created the fair use exception did not want to limit its definition. Like free speech, they wanted it to have an expansive meaning that could be open to interpretation.
    Most fair use analysis falls into two categories: (1) commentary and criticism, or (2) parody.
    Commentary and Criticism

    If you are commenting upon or critiquing a copyrighted work—for instance, writing a book review—fair use principles allow you to reproduce some of the work to achieve your purposes. Some examples of commentary and criticism include:

    • quoting a few lines from a Bob Dylan song in a music review
    • summarizing and quoting from a medical article on prostate cancer in a news report
    • copying a few paragraphs from a news article for use by a teacher or student in a lesson, or
    • copying a portion of a Sports Illustrated magazine article for use in a related court case.

    The underlying rationale of this rule is that the public reaps benefits from your review, which is enhanced by including some of the copyrighted material. Additional examples of commentary or criticism are provided in the examples of fair use cases.
    Parody

    A parody is a work that ridicules another, usually well-known work, by imitating it in a comic way. Judges understand that, by its nature, parody demands some taking from the original work being parodied. Unlike other forms of fair use, a fairly extensive use of the original work is permitted in a parody in order to “conjure up” the original.

  6. #6
    How long are the clips?
    I have heard hold music that was frequently interrupted by static simply because they wanted to avoid copyright issues (cheap bastages).

    But since rappers started 'sampling' music in their mixes, the courts have changed their view on that practice.

  7. #7
    I wouldn't add music to my site because that is a sure-fire way to have them leave & never return.
    I ditch a site when they try to make me listen to audio.
    Also, I get irked when the site won't load in a timely manner because it is loading the audio.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    I wouldn't add music to my site because that is a sure-fire way to have them leave & never return.
    I ditch a site when they try to make me listen to audio.
    Also, I get irked when the site won't load in a timely manner because it is loading the audio.
    Nah, it's not an audio clip. It's this:

    The author writes the novel, publishes it, then on his website, offers a soundtrack list that they say 'goes' with reading the novel. They also quote song lyrics on their website that they say 'match' the mood they are conveying in the novel, or they match a character they are portraying. In effect, they're using the songs to promote their novel, not from the inside of the cover, but on the author's website.
    "You don't wanna ride the bus like this,"

    Mike Posner.



  9. #9
    WF Veteran Bloggsworth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Leafy suburb of North London
    Posts
    3,884
    "Fair use" for educational and illustrative purposes, although the Universal Music Group would have you believe otherwise; they strike down Youtube vlogs all the time for no other reason than they can intimidate Google into doing so - It's a very contentious issue as, of course, most vloggers can't afford to take them to court to enforce their "Fair use" rights.
    A man in possession of a wooden spoon must be in want of a pot to stir.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquilo View Post
    I know nothing about this, I've got to admit.

    I've seen a fair amount of authors compile soundtracks to their novels and post it on their website, along with a few lyrics from the songs that point clearly to how the song and lyrics relate to their novel at various points. I've also seen soundtracks printed in the back of some of novels. With both, no permission has been gained to ask if their titles etc can be used as a soundtrack to that novel.

    If you're listing tracks and lines from various artists, also tieing them to your work in a promotional way by placing it on your author website, isn't this going against copyright? When I see it, it always makes me feel uncomfortable. I'm just not sure where the law stands on it.
    Definitely some permission is needed with any and all copyrighted material. No question about that.

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.