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Robert McEwen, Esq.
Robert McEwen, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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If I give credit to an author because I used a small quote

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If I give credit to an author because I used a small quote from his book is this a copyright infringement?

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Giving credit for a quote is not copyright infringement. Using the quote from his book could be. It really depends upon the quote, the nature of your book, etc...

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Of course if you have permission (which it would certainly be worth it to try to obtain permission first before doing this) then it would not be infringement in the first place.

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Here's what the law says regarding fair use: "... the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:


 



  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

  • the nature of the copyrighted work;

  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Fair use is a defense to infringement.

RobertMcEwenEsq :

So if you have a very short quote, for comment or criticism, etc... then it probably would not be infringement.

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Further, short quotes are not copyrightable. The longer the quote, the more it would fall under copyright protection, but again, fair use could come in depending on the nature of your work,

RobertMcEwenEsq :

And of course, it depends on whether that author's work is copyrighted. If it was Mark Twain, it would not be, because anything published before 1923 is no longer copyrighted. If after 1923, it's possible that it's not copyrighted.

RobertMcEwenEsq :

If the author is still living, however, I would first try to get permission, just to be absolutely safe.

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

RobertMcEwenEsq :

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