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I’ve emailed Henry Rollins, and the management of Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Rodriguez and Ben Lee asking for permission to use their lyrics within my graphic novel. Henry said no, I’m still in discussion with Ben Lee’s management, and I haven’t heard from the others. Here’s a great reply I received from the editor at Fantagraphics regarding their use of copyrighted lyrics within Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Goražde.

Your best option would be to talk to a copyright law firm to see what they have to say about the matter. It should just be something that they would be able to advise you about without charge. We have to work with a firm to clear our lyrics as well as reprinting material or logos. Or you could reach out to the label or artist that you’re looking to use the lyrics from and inquire what it would take for you to use their material. You may need to pay a licensing fee to reprint the lyrics if they’re particularly fussy. And if they are and you do not get permission they may pursue it legally and expensively.