Question re: copyrighted material

After he removed the entire lyrics of a song that I had posted in a thread, Coldfire suggested that I do a search on “fair use” (which I can’t, because “use” is three letters long and therefore not searchable by the search engine) or “copyright” in this forum. With good intentions, I started out to do so, but the board was being increasingly slow, and so it timed out on me a fair number of times.

After reviewing the sticky thread guidelines, I aplogized in the thread, but then had a few questions which would best be answered in this forum. (search having timed out on me too many times for my taste)

Just how much of a lyrical “chunk” is acceptable to post on these boards? (I see a lot of chunks [if not entire songs] in that thread which refuses to die over in MPSIMS about “If life is a rock and the radio rolls me…”) I know that a few lines of a song are permissible, as I see this all the time in music- and song-related threads, but I was still wondering.

Is is acceptable to post a link to song lyrics? If it is, then that’s what I’ll do next time. If not, then I’ll abide by the wishes of the mods on this one. In order to do that, I’ll have to stay away from lyrical threads.

Should I just refrain from posting any song lyrics at all? I don’t wish to offend anyone, or inadvertently step afoul of the rules and guidelines at this board again, so that’s why I ask that one.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me!

We’ve had posts with two or three lines of song lyrics that haven’t been edited out by mods, so you would probably be safe posting two or three lines from a typical song.

To learn more about fair use, and copyright in general, you can visit the U.S. Copyright Office

I found an old post where I said something about copyright issues, and I put that in the FAQ - guidelines for posting. For song lyrics, I would say limit yourself to four or five lines, or 5-10% of the lyrics for a long song. That thread in MPSIMS is difficult to moderate because people post chunks of songs, I don’t have time to look up the song to see how much of the lyrics are being posted, and some songs would be hard to find based only on the lyrics anyway.

He He Hee… :smiley:

One good way of dealing with it is to post a couple of relevant lines and then link to a full copy of the lyrics published on a site which has legitimate rights to publish them.

I do the same when posting excerpts from poetry or newspaper articles.

If you’re posting something which is public domain, it’s a good idea to let the mods know that in your post (with alink which allows them to verify that fact).