“I want to publish the lyrics from an old song but the rights holder hasn’t responded to me. What can I do?”

“I want to publish the lyrics from an old song but the rights holder hasn’t responded to me. What can I do?”

Q – 

I want to include some words from the old song by Shirley Ellis in a short story I’m ready to publish as part of a collection. I’ve emailed ASCAP, and Sony, who owns the publishing rights, for permission and no one has gotten back to me in the past four weeks. Any advice on next steps?

Thanks.
PAB


A – 

All you can do is ping them again (and maybe again). It’s not unusual for large copyright holders to take forever to respond to requests. And, it’s likely they’ll charge you several hundred dollars or more to use the lyrics.

Another alternative is this:
Can I Publish Song Lyrics? No, But, Here’s What You Can Do…

Brian Whiddon
Managing Editor – WritersWeekly.com
Operations Manager – BookLocker.com

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