I am planning to create and then sell a book of quotations. All the quotations in one book will belong to just one person, for example Steven Spielberg or Jay Leno. Do I need a license/permission from the author?
State/Country relating to question: California
Getting permission never hurts and is always a good idea, but it may be time-consuming or difficult to get. Generally, quotes are not covered by copyright so you don't need permission, but you have to make sure you are not violating the person's right of publicity, which can be very tricky, but if you are prominently using the person's name or image/photo, then you may have a problem if the person finds out and cares to pursue the matter. The right of publicity is generally defined as an individual's right to control and profit from the commercial use of his/her name, likeness and persona. However, the right of publicity is balanced against 1st Amendment interests, so there are exceptions. I suggest you read this summary in the context of your proposed book, and that should give you a good idea of where you stand...but as in many cases, the answer may not be legally clear and you have to make an calculated risk.http://www.publaw.com/rightpriv.html
Thanks for the answer. I have a follow up question. I would also like to know how this applies to user comments on a youtube video (or comments on sites like huffingtonpost and politico). On youtube for example, may videos have over 50,000 comments. If I selectively choose about 100-200 of them and sell them, is that copyright violation?And lets also assume 2 worst case scenarios here1) this is done on a large enough scale and attracts youtube's attention.2) the entire business is based on selling these "selected comments" from youtube.Is this fair under the law?
Experienced in intellectual property law
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