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Jack R.
Jack R., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  OH/TX Practicing Attorney focusing on Family Law, Foreclosure, Landlord-Tenant Issues.
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Copyright Stuff

This answer was rated:

Somebody printed a book slandering my grandfather who lived in the 1800's. So I'm writing a book to set the record straight.

He found a letter in a European archive in which relatives call my grandfather "insane". I need that letter for my book, but I can't fly to Europe and find the letter.

So I'd like to photocopy it from his book and publish it in mine. Getting permission from him is not an option. Am I violating Copyright law? Do I need to write from where I got the letter from? 

Thank you for choosing Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will assist you today.


I need little more information.


When was the book published ?


Is the publisher still in existence ?



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It was printed in 2006.




it's in Hebrew, I used Google to translate the site.



You do not need to get permission from the author. You should ask Sharza books for permission to copy the page. In you book you should footnote used with permission from Sharza Publishing. If you fail to get permission you could be sued, or publication halted..




Customer: replied 3 years ago.

But that publisher doesn't own the letter - they note permission from "The State Archive of the Republic of Belarus"


1) if the publisher doesn't own the letter, do I still need permission from the publisher?


2) and what if the publisher won't grant me permission?


3) if the publisher gives me permission, does that mean I don't need permission from the Belarus government?


Yo will need to contact the Belarus archive and get permission from them to use the letter. . They are the owner of the material and therefore control the copyright. from your description it does not appear that the publisher has the rights to the material.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok one last question.


if I get permission from Belarus, can I copy the letter from the other guy's book?


in other words if i can't get hold of the original so I therefore would just copy it from the that publisher's book - would i need additional permission from the publisher for that?

Yes, if you are copying a page out of a copyrighted publication you will need their permission. After you obtain the archive's permission include that with a letter to the book publisher. This should not be a problem in getting their approval.


Secondly. you may be able to avoid this by asking the archive to send you a copy of the letter along with their publishing approval. In your request send a copy of the page from the book and ask them for a copy of what they have in the archive. Even if you went to Belarus, you would have to make a copy of the letter. This does not have to entail a trip to Belarus.


Please accept my answer with a rating of 3 or better so I may get credit for my response. If you have follow up questions please ask. Please note that paying the deposit does not cause funds to be disbursed until you rate my response (3 or greater).

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