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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16360
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am releasing an EP next year with one of the songs (the

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Hey I am releasing an EP next year with one of the songs (the single) being called "The Killing Joke", this is also the name of a Batman franchise book and movie. As far as I'm aware this will be no issue but I wanted to check
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Scotland
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I wrote a song, named it, and now I'm checking to see if the name is okay? Because as far as my research tells me, titles are not copyrighted
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No that should be fine

Thanks for your question. I am a copyright solicitor in Scotland with 35 years of experience in private practice and I hope that I can help you with your question today. Let me have a quick look at your question and I will either give you an initial answer or ask you for further information. I aim to respond as quickly as I can but sometimes I may want to take a little time to consider your question so as to give you the best possible answer.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
No problem take your time!
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I'm working anyway so got plenty time thanks.

Your research is correct and there is no issue with you giving your song this title. You can’t copyright a title because it’s not a “work” within the meaning of the copyright legislation. A good example is the single by our own Deacon Blue “Twist and Shout” which of course is identical to the title of the 1961 song by Bert Berns and Phil Medley and covered by many artists. The Deacon Blue song was a totally different song but they were able to use an identical title.

I hope this helped you today. Please do let me know if I can clarify anything. I am always happy to help. You are always welcome to ask a follow up question if it will help you further.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
any titles where it be movie, song, book, whatever are not copyrighted?

That’s correct, unless the title is so unusual and creative as to merit copyright protection.

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