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Author Topic: Is it copyright infringement to parody the words of a song in a book  (Read 107 times)


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I’m writing a book. In the book, the characters parody the first few words to a well-known song before making up their own words to the song. Obviously, being a book, there is no music—the only part of the original song that is there is the first few words. Do I need to get permission to do this?


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Well, since no one has answered, parody is one of the common fair-use exceptions.  If you're not printing the lyrics, then you're not infringing them;  if it's a book then you're obviously not using the music.  An audio book might need to license the music if you're having the voice actor sing the lyrics you've made up, though.

It's still messy, and it's possible someone could sue you over it, but I doubt they'd succeed.  Of course, you'd still be out a ton of money for your legal defense. . . .
"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.


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