Q&A: Using Music in a Pop Culture Blog

This question come from Reddit, /u/PythonDon:

Question

My blog/web series is focused around current pop culture. How can I add current music, quotes and sayings on my videos without copyright infringement. I want to blog for a profit and I dont want to get my stuff taken down. How can I do this legally. Would a simple adding artist info and itunes link suffice?

I asked for some clarification, and he added…

My blog focuses on my two passions animals and music. I will be playing new hop hop songs,albums mixtapes in the background as I give commentary about both animal and music for the day.

Response

If you are not obtaining permission to use the works of others, you need to determine if your use is defensible under “fair use”. If your blog is providing commentary or criticism in a journalistic fashion, that could be fair use. If you are playing entire songs, that’s less likely to be fair use.

If you are using background music, you need permission to use it. You may be able to get rights to use the songs through BMI.com.

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Leland Faux
Attorney Leland Faux blogs about trademark, copyright, and online business issues at Law of the Brand. You can submit a question by email to thelawofthebrand@gmail.com.

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