Are Song Titles & Lyrics Protected by Copyright or Trademark Law

Lyrics are subject to copyright protection. Therefore, the permission of the author must be obtained for any reproduction or distribution of the work.

The copyright protection of individual passages is not so extensive. However, the right to quote is subject to the premise that only works may claim it that themselves enjoy copyright protection, i.e. that have their own creative level. Quotations from published works may only be distributed, duplicated or reproduced without the permission of the author if the scope of use is justified by the special purpose. This purpose will be seen primarily in a context. However, commercial use is not covered by the right to quote. A citation in the sense mentioned above must be provided with a reference.

Commercial use of quotations is also ruled out if they are provided with the source. Due to the risk that you may be warned if you use quotes commercially, we would refrain from distributing or publicly displaying such quotes.

The Copyright Act does not mention song texts or lyrics, but these can be assigned to the works. These are text-based creations that can usually enjoy copyright protection in accordance with. However, whether copyright protects certain song lyrics often has to be checked in each individual case. For this, the texts have to reach a certain level of creativity, i.e. they have to be categorized by creativity and individuality. However, the requirements for language works are relatively low, which is why even a sentence can be subject to copyright.

It is not uncommon for music lovers of performers to publish the lyrics of their favorite songs on social accounts or on their own webpage, or to make their own translations. However, this well-intentioned advertising can sometimes cause trouble for the musicians, because it damages the copyright of the lyrics. Therefore, there is always a risk that the publishers concerned will take legal action and warn against the unauthorized procedures. In the course of a warning, the rights holders can assert various claims. These include the following:

  • Claim for Elimination of Copyright Infringement
  • Injunctive Relief to Prevent Further Violations
  • Claim for damages to balance for financial losses
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