Two of my clients have been surprised recently to learn that they are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce song lyrics in their respective novels. I’m sorry to break it to you, authors, but if you want to reproduce anything by another artist in your book – a painting, a few lines from a poem, song lyrics, a photograph – you have to identify who owns the copyright and contact that person (often a company or a literary estate) for permission to do so.I won’t sugarcoat it: the process is a total drag, so the sooner you get on to it, the better. There are also some common problems that arise during the permission-seeking process that I’ll get to in a minute. But first …
Why is it the author’s responsibility?
“Authors, creators and copyright owners have the right to protect their work against possible infringement and prevent others from using their work without their permission.
In Australia, copyright material is subject to copyright as soon as it is created. The author or creator does not have to do anything to gain copyright and protection for their work. You do not need to include the copyright symbol – © – on your work (although it is recommended) or register your work. For information on what your rights are, see Rights of Copyright Owners.
There are several practical steps that you can take to protect and effectively manage your rights…”
Read more via Protecting Your Work : Copyright Office.