Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Copyright? (1 Viewer)

Not open for further replies.

Olivia Brine

Senior Member
I'd love to try and integrate Dylan Thomas' poem, 'Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night,' but I'm not sure what the copyright rules for poetry are. I did a little digging and it looks like it's copyrighted and not available for the public domain, but I also know the movie Interstellar was able to quote the entirety of the poem. Question 1.) Would I have to pay in order to use it in my novel, and Question 2.) If I WOULD have to pay, then could I possibly get by with just using a single line from the poem?


Friends of WF
...and to complicate things the copyright is held in the U.K., so have a care with the Fair Use rules.

I'd just ask them. There's an email address there.

That can actually work. I wrote a short story that used a bit of lyric from Joni Mitchell's song "Blue". And, even though the story was going nowhere, I asked the publisher ahead of time, before I let it loose on the world. The publisher said, "Sure! No problem. Good luck!"


Senior Member
1. Yes.

2. No.

Poems and song lyrics are typically so short that any number of words would violate copyright. So, you'd be in trouble just using a simple line. Of course, for actual legal advise, consult a qualified attorney, but in my general IANAL understanding, don't even try to quote parts of anything, no matter how short.
Not open for further replies.