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What is the worst thing that can happen?

Don’t take it personally; it is a business. Artists don’t actually have any requirements on the lyrics unless they wrote the songs themselves or bought the rights. A songwriter does that if he doesn’t sell them all. But the person you have to worry about the most in this equation is usually the record label. This company has probably paid money for the rights to control the release of the lyrics you want. They probably won’t get a hot mist because you want to use the lyrics under their control. Even if they do, they have to pay people (such as a songwriter) to use it.

Bottom line: lyrics are intellectual property. They are worth the money.

But isn’t that a free advertisement to them?

In a way if your song makes a lot of people run out to buy a score. But this is unlikely. At best, it can make readers buy a song. It is covered by completely different rights – reproduction and recording rights and so on. Someone can be happy somewhere. Depending on how things are arranged, some of that money may even drop into a record label. However, this company probably won’t let you use the A to Z lyrics for free.

How much does it cost?

In principle, you must make an agreement with the copyright holder to use the song. This company will tell you how much it wants for the use you have described. The cost depends on many factors, including the part of the story you plan to use. If you use only one or two lines, you can see only a few cents per copy. Or it could be much higher. There are usually different fee schedules for using paper online. You can’t really estimate the potential cost until you ask for it.

If you only want a few lines of one song, it’s probably affordable. If you want to start with a few lines in each of the thirty chapters, your costs and effort will increase. You have to pay for each line item. Obtaining a license may involve applying to more than one different company.

How to start?

Basically, you start the process by writing to a rights manager.

If you’re an author looking for a traditional publisher, it won’t do you much good if you ask early. However, if you plan to distribute copies of a work while you are publishing it, it is best to seek permission from the copyright holder. Often, the company agrees to let you use the lyrics this way for free. For example, I was allowed to use lyrics in online desks for free because I didn’t make any money and only a few hundred people visited the site.

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