Two days ago an editor did a post asking writers to stop putting song lyrics in books.
A lot of people replied. The majority were along the lines of "Hey! I’m afraid of lawyers too!" but a few reply guys quoted actual song lyrics.
The reply guys had a point, ugh. Because you can type welcome to the jungle, we’ve got fun and games on the computer, and literally click a button labeled PUBLISH, and zero lawyers will give you any hassles. You can type out the full lyrics to every notable songwriter’s entire catalog, you can even make a whole ass listicle out of nothing but music publishers’ IP, and those music publishers will punish you by leaving you and your web site alone.
Which: that’s pretty good. Nobody ever reads a lyric sheet and, music craving satisfied, decides not to listen to the recording. That is not how music cravings even work, and even music publishers know that.
If you got a big 🐘 let me search ya
It’s not fair to give Laura Poole a hard time about her post. She's an editor, and every time someone types shot through the heart and you’re to blame in a manuscript she’s reviewing, she has to bring in the publishers and their lawyers. Because, somehow, music publishers have persuaded book publishers that copyright works like that.
Copyright does not work like that, or I would not be able to type If you got a big 🐘 let me search ya and click PUBLISH. But I just did.
Why are book publishers persuaded otherwise? All the reply guys in Laura Poole’s thread have opinions but nobody seems to have experience.
So. Time for some experience.
Suppose there were a whole ass novel about getting song lyrics stuck in your head, and about the legal hellfire that brought down on that same head. Would anyone publish that? If Max Martin owned the publishing*?
*If Max Martin hypothetically owned the publishing rights to the song hypothetically stuck in the hypothetical novel’s protagonist’s hypothetical head, which is definitely not about how baby should, one more time, hit you**,