Missouri  |  Intellectual Property

Legal Question

Asked on: 9/14/13, 11:10 am

Hello, I have a question about fair use laws. I have a project in mind to set the poems and songs from J.R.R. Tolkien's works to music, as a purely not-for-profit and educational endeavor, and possibly used to fund charitable works (e.g., writing and music workshops for disadvantaged kids.) To begin with I plan to fund the project entirely with a Kickstarter campaign. The Tolkien estate is adamant that the commercial rights to the song lyrics are NOT available. So, would my project fall under fair use?

1 Answer


Answered on: 9/14/13, 2:44 pm by Bruce Burdick

That sounds like commercial use, not fair use. "Used to fund" and "not for profit" are inconsistent. You appear to be another of many Kickstarter campaigns that want people to fund infringement.


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Burdick Law Firm 3832 Omega Street. Alton, IL 62002-2100

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