Legality of Stuff

So, I wanted to embed a song in the last episode of The Unbroken Chaos (yes, it's short, but it was my first one, I never planned for it to be all that long, and it was more of an experiment, anyway), and I was wondering if this infringed on copyright laws, since I'm not asking for ANY money from it WHATSOEVER,and I decided that since I'm lazy, I'm gonna ask you guys instead of look it up. I'm pretty sure that it's illegal, but I just want to make sure.

I'm pretty sure if you haven't legally licensed the music through ASCAP then yes, that will be illegal. It doesn't matter if you don't charge for it.

Now, if you're only embedding 5-8 seconds of it, it *might* fall under "fair use" -- but, and this is important -- copyright lawyers would probably sue you anyway, betting that you don't have the money for a trial that would prove you innocent of infringement.

A word of warning if you decide to do it anyway. These are the same lawyers that sued a 90 year old woman because her granddaughter used her computer to download mp3s.

Thanks, I'll have one of my friends write and sing a knock-off. That should work.

I've heard that fair use turns out to be a small amount of a work. Unfortunately, the exact amount tends depend on multiple factors from what I understand. As is implied by Ubersoft's comment, you'd be better off talking to a lawyer before playing a chunk of it. Having your friend do their own version would probably be fine.

fair use also technically only covers "educational use" and "parody".

One thing you ~could~ do is to link to a YouTube or other video of the music you want and then embed the video in an innocuous part of the site. As the artist has approved YouTube to share the music and you're just embedding the video (also permitted) then you should be in a safe place.

Provided that the YouTube video was uploaded by the rights holder and not by a fan who didn't know about copyright ... But YouTube seems to remove that kind of stuff as soon as rights holders complain, so perhaps the risk isn't all that great. Also, fair use seems to be at least a little bit broader than educational use and parody:

Part of YouTube's coverage of the copyrighted material is a system to auto detect what is already owned by someone else. I uploaded a montage of images of my daughter with the song "Touch the Sky" from Brave and the site almost instantly flagged it as copy written. But rather than pulling it, the site let me keep up as long as I don't claim to own it. It also accidentally flagged an original parody of Rolling like a G6 (that being "Roll a D6") as being copywritten even though it was original.

or purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research,

so, parody, education, and reporting ABOUT the item. That is technically all that falls under fair use.

I stand corrected! :-)

Oh, and, just using the LYRICS in your writing, you owe someone money! There's a really good write up about it a webcomic creator did a while back on how he did so.'s%20do%20the%20licensing%20tango