The use of music videos and lyrics on a website

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The use of music videos and lyrics on a website

If I had a website that allowed visitors to generate a booklet that made reference by name to artists on a page within this booklet. The receiver on opening the booklet can click the link left and get directed to a Youtube page with that artist musical track playing, or a link to a page with the lyrics of a favourite song. Am I impinging copyright laws? Even if there is no music on my website or lyrics they are only links making reference to the sites that do have them.

Asked on July 25, 2017 under Business Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You cannot yourself reproduce, play, provide, etc. videos, soundtracks/music, or lyrics without the permission of the copyright holder (the artist or the record label, depending on their internal arrangements and who owns what), which permission is generally based on paying a royalty or fee. If you provided this material yourself without permission, you'd be violating their copyright and could be sued. 
But you can link to another's page, since *you* are not reproducing or providing the copyrighted material: so long as that other page is independent of and not affiliated with or under the control of you, this should not be your violation of copyright. (It be the other page's violation, but that is not your problem.)


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