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Butcher Boy Rebellion and Fifty Year Old Tryst are available on Amazon and Club Lighthouse.
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I agree with the previous posters with one exception. If you wrote an adaption of "Ode to Billy Joe" which used the same characters and story, you might have a problem. However if you wrote a romance set in Atlantic City based on "Under the Boardwalk" you would probably be fine.

Bob Cherny
 

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As I understand it, you can use song titles, but no lyrics, in a story. I recently wrote a short story in an anthology titled 'Words to Music' currently available on Amazon as paperback and for kindle. This has 40 stories from 35 authors, each story based on or inspired by a particular song.
Care was taken to edit out any direct quotation of lyrics, but many of the stories used song titles as story titles.
 

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Coral said:
I did a quick search but didn't find anything helpful. Does anyone know the rules regarding writing a story inspired by a song? Would it be allowable to mention that a song inspired a story or would I have to seek permission from the songwriter?
I think a few lines is generally considered fair usage as long as you attribute it to the writer.
 

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I think a few lines is generally considered fair usage as long as you attribute it to the writer.
No. Using any lyrics at all is a violation of copyright. You can't copyright a title, though, so it's okay to use that-- I use song titles for my books all the time. But do not ever use song lyrics in a book-- you'd have to get permission first, and that's not easy or cheap to obtain.

I just thought the basic concept would make a neat story if expanded on.
This seems kind of like a blurry area to me. It depends on what you mean. There are plotty songs which if you "expanded" on them so that it was obvious your plot derived from the song, you might be skating into copyright violation territory (or you might not-- I'm no lawyer and merely believe in erring on the side of caution). If, however, you just feel inspired by a song's lyrics and you wrote a story by that title, that shouldn't be a problem.
 

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EllenFisher said:
No. Using any lyrics at all is a violation of copyright. You can't copyright a title, though, so it's okay to use that-- I use song titles for my books all the time. But do not ever use song lyrics in a book-- you'd have to get permission first, and that's not easy or cheap to obtain.
I don't know where you are from. but in the UK quoting a few lines from a book or song is considered fair usage as long as you give attribution to the copyright holder.
 

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ilyria_moon said:
My WIP is inspired by this song :p
Mine
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcpamvLB2JU&feature=fvsr
 

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Geez, Coral. You shoulda known I'd know this one!

Yes, lyrics are verboten. Can't use 'em unless you get permission and getting permission can be quite difficult. I've heard stories. Oh, have I heard stories. I've heard stories from authors, from publishers, and from lawyers. When the lawyers start complaining, you know it's time to pack it in until you're a bigger name in the literary world. Or until you find a lawyer with better connections. (They tend to hide.)

Greenpen: you CAN use some words from a book. Not a song. There are fewer words in a song, after all (how many different words are in Stone Sour's Digital? Like 20?), and the legal intricacies of getting permissions for lyrics. Really. I'm not kidding. It's  not that it's not easy or cheap. It's that the people who control the lyrics can be difficult to identify (who owns what in the music world is confusing. Trust me. I've waded into that mess and found that the people who work closely with top bands don't always know the answers, either. Or understand them), and once they're identified, they don't want to cough up the goods. There's not a big benefit in it for them to have their lyrics quoted and there's so much else that NEEDS to be dealt with...

There are a bunch of anthologies out where the stories are the song titles. The new Words to Music anthology is merely one; it's a popular concept (I'll be reviewing Words to Music as soon as I finish Ladies and Gentlemen, The Redeemers).

Like others have said, you can't retell Jungleland, with all those characters. You CAN tell the story of a young boy who dreams of busting out of his small New Jersey town with his girl and his fast car because he was born to run. Heck, if you can figure out what song inspired Trevor's Song, I'll mail you an autographed print copy of my entire ShapeShifter catalog!

If you do it right, you can pull it off with only yourself as the wiser. And let me tell you, it's a lot of fun to do -- and even more fun to watch people try to figure it out.
 

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I don't know where you are from. but in the UK quoting a few lines from a book or song is considered fair usage as long as you give attribution to the copyright holder.
I'm from the US. As I said above, I'm no lawyer, but I've been told that using lyrics, even a short excerpt of them, is not "fair use." As far as I can tell by a quick Google search, "fair use" here means quoting for scholarship or commentary, not for use in a fiction work. I could certainly be wrong, but again, I believe in erring on the side of caution. Being sued can ruin your whole day.
 

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How recent is the song?  If it is old, it may be in the public domain.  Even if it isn't old, it may be based on an old song.  I have seen a lot of cases of that.  I needed to use a well-known song in my novel; the entire song, not just a few lyrics.  When I investigated, I found that there were some very old lyrics and some more updated ones.  I was able to use the old lyrics because the copyright had expired.
 

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EllenFisher said:
I'm from the US. As I said above, I'm no lawyer, but I've been told that using lyrics, even a short excerpt of them, is not "fair use." As far as I can tell by a quick Google search, "fair use" here means quoting for scholarship or commentary, not for use in a fiction work. I could certainly be wrong, but again, I believe in erring on the side of caution. Being sued can ruin your whole day.
Not a problem for me. Ever tried getting blood from a stone though?
 

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greenpen said:
Mine
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcpamvLB2JU&feature=fvsr
I was inspired to write a novella when I was listening to this:

Oh and copyright lawyers will chase you regardless of fair use, so steer clear of that entire quagmire. There was a documentary on mash-ups covering IP that was very interesting.
 
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