Can I get sued for starting a store that sells lyric quoted products?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I get sued for starting a store that sells lyric quoted products?

I am about to launch my store officially but just yesterday I happened to see

articles about song lyric copyrights. Now I am in doubt about launching it. Is

there a way I can get away with fines Since I still want to launch it to repay the hardwork I’ve poured in to it.

Asked on September 29, 2018 under Business Law, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you put copyrighted materials--i.e. lyrics--on products without getting the copyright owner's permission (which generally means paying a licensing fee), the owner can sue you. They can sue you for *all* profits you made and sometimes additional or enhanced "damages" as well (including, e.g. attorney's fees) and also for a court order barring you from selling the items and requiring destruction of your inventory. There is no way to get away with just "fines." What you can do is license the lyrics you want to use from the rights holders.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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