Can I Publish Song Lyrics In My Book Without Permission? No.

In my book manuscript I have a some lyrics from (a popular song). I’m thinking approval from publishers is necessary for these items (and possible payment). How does one go about doing that?

Thank you so much for your help.

– G.

Unless the song is in the public domain, you must obtain written permission from the copyright owner of the song. It’s a difficult process (just trying to locate copyright owner can be quite a feat!) and they almost never allow authors to reprint song lyrics for free. Rather, they usually charge hundreds or thousands for the privilege.

What you can do is simply publish the title of the song in your book. That is permitted because titles can’t be copyrighted. Publishing a popular song title is usually all that’s needed to get readers to start humming the song in their heads.


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