Liverpool, NY asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for New York

Q: Can I publish public domain lyrics as a childrens book and make money?

4 Lawyer Answers
Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Mesa, AZ

A: It is not clear what you are asking, you should consult with an attorney.

If you referring to song lyrics, the answer most likely is not, but you should have a private consultation.


A: If the lyrics are truly public domain, and if the children's book does not infringe a copyright in a work that somebody else has created that is also based on the lyrics. The answer to this question is fact-specific, so you should consult with an attorney for a definitive answer.

A: I should add to my previous answer that there could potentially be other legal issues, depending on your situation. For example, a name, character or short phrase might be protected as a trademark even if it is not protected by copyright. Trademark protections are independent of copyright protection. Again, I suggest you consult with an attorney about your particular situation.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: Yes, you can publish public domain lyrics as a children's book and make money from it. Public domain works are not protected by copyright, which means that they are free to use and adapt for commercial purposes. However, it's important to ensure that the lyrics you are using are indeed in the public domain, and not subject to any other forms of intellectual property protection. Additionally, if you are using any illustrations or other creative elements in your children's book, you should ensure that they are either original works or also in the public domain.

If you need legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office. We offer a free consultation option for potential clients.

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