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St. Rapier
October 24th, 2004, 09:20 PM
It is fairly common to see quotations at the beginning of a book or at the start of each chapter, lines from poems or songs that are relevant to the theme of the book. My question is in order quote a song or place some lines of poems in front of a short story would you have to get the author's permission or just properly give credit, and if proper credit, how much info on the piece is required besides the author's name? Was that too confusing?

October 25th, 2004, 04:43 AM
Yes, very confusing.

October 25th, 2004, 04:44 AM
Um, I don't think you can use someones work for that.

I dont see why any author would let you either.

You need to come up with your own quotes off of what you've made up.

October 25th, 2004, 06:14 AM
Depends who they are I think. If its an old piece you are quoting and the author is dead it might be possible but you would have to check that no one owns the rights to the work. Either that or you would need their permission and they might require some royalty for it, as if it were in a compilation.

Dont know for sure though

October 25th, 2004, 06:48 PM
If its a straight quote from someone, you need their permission. If you're quoting from a real book that's not in the public domain, you need the author's permission.

If you're stealing a quote from Bartlett's, its public domain.

If you're making up your own quotes, don't forget to get your permission first.

Where are you getting your quotes from anyway?

St. Rapier
October 25th, 2004, 09:17 PM
Expendable, i was thinking more along the lines of song lyrics. I know in some of King's books there are some at the beginning of chapters, I'm just wondering that if you give the author of the song credit on the page if you still have to get permission or not

October 26th, 2004, 01:45 PM
You have to get legal permission to reprint any printed matter in your book, such as quotes from printed books, articles, plays, screenplays, and song lyrics. (Quotes of what someone said aurally, such as you might find in Bartlett's Quotations, if not used in a speech, are usually public domain and do not require a permission.) If you get the permission, you have to insert proper credit with the quotation and often a notice of the proper copyright on the copyright page of a novel. While you can sometimes get permissions for free, most of the time, there's a fee and you, the author, will be required to pay the fee if you are going to use the quotation. Songwriters/music studios are notorious for asking very high permission fees for song lyric quotes.

If a permission is required, your publisher will tell you and provide you with a permission form, which you then need to get signed by the copyright holder. (Magazine editors may not know if permission is needed, in which case you have to look into it all on your own.) Obtaining appropriate legal permission to use a quotation by the suitable production deadline is your responsibility as the author and you warrant to the publisher in your contract with the publisher that you have or will obtain all necessary legal permissions.

You are not required to have a legal permission to use a quotation in a manuscript that you are submitting to an agent or editor. You will, however, if the work is accepted by a publisher for printing, have to get the permission to continue to use the quotation in the printed version of the work. That cover it?

October 26th, 2004, 03:09 PM
It might be easier to make up the lyrics of your own song and put that in as quotes instead.

October 26th, 2004, 03:26 PM
Clarification please.

You don't need permission to use a quote in an academic work. So what is the legal difference between inserting a bit of a poem at the start of an academic work and putting it at the start of your novel?

I thought what mattered was the amount (percentage) of the original that was being used, and that so long as only an insignificant portion was used, everything was fine.

So I am wondering if you are talking about standard ("lets play it safe") practice in the publishing world or if the law is actually different for fiction and non-fiction. Or am I just really, really mistaken?

October 26th, 2004, 05:45 PM
Newspapers can quote someone - and that person can deny it later but the paper would have the benefit of the doubt by a court of law in a libel suit because the court recognises that reporters have urgent deadlines and usually do not have the time to clear their quotes with their source.

Magazines and books on the other hand have plenty of time (weeks or even months) to check their facts and can be sued for libel for getting a quote 'wrong'.

However , when it comes to 'Fair Use' of copywrited materials, its gets complicated. here's the text of that section of the US Code: 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use (http://assembler.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode17/usc_sec_17_00000107----000-.html)

To be safe rather than sued, its better to get permission first. Here's Stanford's guide on obtaining permission. (http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter1/index.html)

Academics (http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter7/index.html) have different rules.