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JoeN819
JoeN819,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 77
Experience:  Expert
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I just wanted to ask a question regarding copyright law, and

Customer Question

I just wanted to ask a question regarding copyright law, and what you can/can't do in playwriting
JA: What written documentation do you have?
Customer: None, it involves the use of music and the implications of using music
JA: Have you talked to a local attorney? Has anything been filed in court?
Customer: No, it's to get a heads up before I continue writing
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: If I write a play, and mention the name of a song by the Beatles, or have a character sing it briefly (Not recorded) and I would not play the original, would I need permission from the whoever holds the rights just to mention the song, or hum the tune?
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JoeN819 replied 10 days ago.

Hello - Happy to assist. I shall do my best to help you today. Please note this is not always an instant service and there may be delays between messages

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
If I write a play, and mention the name of a song by the Beatles, or have a character sing it briefly (Not recorded) and I would not play the original or any backing music, just a few of the lyrics, would I need permission from the whoever holds the rights just to mention the song, or hum the tune?
Expert:  JoeN819 replied 10 days ago.

If you are quoting a fair lines from the song, did this for research/educational purposes, and do not attempt to make any money off your play, it is my opinion that this would be fair use and therefore no permission would be required. It is however good practice to obtain permission and if in doubt I would strongly advise that you get the permission of the copyright owner. If you are found guilty of copyright infringement you could face legal charges, fines, or in extreme cases even imprisonment. Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.