You know when you’re in a cute shop and you see a sign or a frame or a shirt or basically anything with country lyrics on it, and you absolutely have to have it? Well, think twice about it.
Because maybe the artist whose lyrics are on that thing that would complete you wasn’t even asked permission to use those words.
Kacey Musgraves explained in a recent Instagram post how it can and does happen, and that she’s doing everything she can to stop it.
“My lyrics are being ripped off so many times and, naturally, nobody buying this stuff would ever know that the people who actually CREATED these lyrics are seeing ZERO benefits,” she writesto go along with a photo of her holding the illegal wooden sign featuring lyrics from one of her recent hits.
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Heads up! This sign was found being sold in a major corporate western wear chain. (It's now pulled off the shelves) but it, along with SO MANY other countless items with my song lyrics [and sometimes my name] are being illegally manufactured and sold in not only major chains but in smaller retailers too. My lyrics are being ripped off so many times and, naturally, nobody buying this stuff would ever know that the people who actually CREATED these lyrics are seeing ZERO benefits. It's a huge problem I face every day. There are correct ways to go about using intellectual property to sell and it's not being done. And yeah, sure, it's flattering and it's "getting my message out there" but I've got bills to pay, too. Theft is not a compliment. (My livelihood is my songwriting) Anyway, it just makes me kinda sad and I wanted y'all to know that I currently have not authorized any of my lyrics to be put on anything for sale in ANY major retailers or boutiques of any kind. If you support me and my music please just go to my website and shop or come to a show. And please lemme know if you see anything out there. I'm down to fight it. This happens to SO many writers. Think before you buy. The product might be cute but stealing ain't. ** editing to say that what IS legal is putting a song title on something. What IS NOT legal is using a complete lyric and much less, my name. **
She admits it’s flattering, but she has bills to pay. She encourages fans to only buy merchandise on her website or at her shows.
It should be noted, however, that sometimes, an artist does give permission and that sign would look perfect in your house.
And I know that about a year ago, Lee Brice’s wife Sara started designing what she calls Lyric Blocks out of the lines from his songs–obviously with his permission — and you can buy them on his website or at his shows and the proceeds go to charity.