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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.
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This is a copyright law question - I am writing a childrens

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This is a copyright law question -
I am writing a children's book which is about teh qualities a child needs to learn and exhibit to make many friends and to grow into responsible, successful adults. In addition to instructional content, I am using stories, poems, and quotes to illustrate each of the 15 qualities. After each stroy, quote and poem, I include a section titled "What can we learn from this [story, quote or poem]?
I plan to publish as an eBook and distribute through Amazon, Barnes an Noble and several other lesser online book distributors.
I scour the Web for poems that are relevant to each of the qualities. Some are anonymous, others simply credit teh poem to a first name only, and yet others include the poet's full name. All are found on web sites that are aggregations of poems from many poets - not from each poet's personal or commercial web site.
My question - Can I reproduce poems found on such websites without requesting permission from each poet? Many would be very hard to locate since the poems are a bit dated and I have very little contact information (if any) on each poet. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your question. I happen to be a licensed Pennsylvania professional. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.


It is always a risk to reproduce and fully republish someone else's work. If you do not obtain permission and simply publish, there is a very strong chance that the real owner of the poem could claim copyright infringement and consequently sue you for damages. If you cannot find information on the poem, do not publish it. This is a 'better safe than sorry' approach because if you end up publishing someone else's work without them consenting, you would have a very potentially expensive lawsuit on your hands, and one that you are unlikely to prevail from.


Good luck.

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