At least once a week, I get an email that reads something like "I found the perfect image for my book on the internet. Can I use it, as long as I give credit to the photographer?" or "I have the best song to set a scene in my book. Can I quote the song lyrics?" In order to answer these questions, we have to understand "fair use."
Your writing has value. You don’t know whether it’s worth $10 or $10,000,000, but your work deserves protection just like your car or home. While the legal aspects of writing can be intimidating, a basic understanding of what you own (and don’t own) is key to protecting your rights. So here are the basics.