Legal

Ask a lawyer and get answers to your legal questions

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

Copyright question: Do I have to ask & get written

Copyright question: Do I have...
Copyright question: Do I have to ask & get written permission to put a quote from someone else's book into the book that I am writing, or can I legally use a short quote (no more than 2-3 sentences) as long as I show it's a quote (with quotation marks) and attribute the source (author, name of book)? Likewise, can I quote something someone said on a LinkedIn discussion similarly, or must I ask their permission?
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Answered in 4 minutes by:
3/8/2018
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 18,006
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

It's always best to get permission. Note that you should consider what the owner of the copyright can actually DO as well when making this determination. That is, if the copyrighted content is not registered with the US Copyright Office, the owner can't sue for attorney fees, costs, statutory damages or interest. They can only sue for actual damages that can be proven, which is pretty hard.

If registration is made within 3 months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner. The award of statutory damages and attorney’s fees is the big stick in copyright law that prevents most cases from going to trial – less than one percent of infringement suits filed. The statutory damages will likely be less of an expense for the infringer than paying the plaintiff’s attorney fees if the case goes as far as trial. Figure on five figures just to get the ball rolling, and six figures if the case ends up going to trial. If the copyright isn’t registered three months after publication or before an infringement, that’s cash you’ll have to pay out of pocket, which is likely to be more than any damages you can hope to recover unless the infringing work was a bestseller or had that much of an impact on your own sales.

So the Linkedin quote likely isn't registered, but the book probably is.

Now, depending on your use, it could also be fair use. 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:

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

2. the nature of the copyrighted work;

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

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

Fair use is a defense to infringement, and should not be a primary strategy. That is, you should first try to obtain permission / a "license" / etc.... from the owner of the copyright. If you're unable to obtain permission and still need to use the copyrighted work, that's when you say that the use is fair use. Note that a court might disagre and say it's infringement, which is why you want to use it as a fall-back when you can't obtain the actual permission.

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 the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

Ask Your Own Legal Question

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Ask Your Own Legal Question

Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response or rating... (please note that rating closes this question out, so if there's nothing else, please rate it so that I can assist other customers that are waiting for answers to their questions).

If you can't see the stars, you may need to scroll up / down / left / or right to see them. This is where you rate so that the question will close out.

Ask Your Own Legal Question

Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?

Ask Your Own Legal Question

Hello?

Ask Your Own Legal Question

My apologies, but I must assist the other customers that are waiting. 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 the time (over 40 minutes now) and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.

Ask Your Own Legal Question

I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but 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 the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.

Ask Your Own Legal Question

Hello?

ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 18,006
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified
ScottyMacEsq and 87 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you....the answer is thorough, but seems focused on worst possible case. Information that seems lacking in this response is why on earth anyone would consider use of a 2-3 sentence quote from a 200-page book "infringement." It is a huge effort plus time drain to try to go through publishing houses to get permission for using quotes. But, I asked a lawyer and got a lawyer's response. It would be nice to know how this works in the real world - do people really ever get sued for using quotes? I know many people who use quotes in their books and do NOT get sued. Thanks.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
One more thing....fair use seems to refer to copying the ENTIRE work...in other words, it implies that the issue to begin with is copying of an entire work, not a quote with attribution.

Exactly. As a lawyer I need to focus on the worst possible case, just in case. The most likely case is that the owner of the copyright won't care. But to BEST protect you it would be best to get permission, if possible, and use fair use as a backup in case you can't get permission.

People RARELY get sued for quotes, but it does happen. That's why we have caselaw on fair use in the first place, because it does get to court (which is a prerequisite for there being caselaw).

Fair use absolutely doesn't deal with the entire thing. Remember the statutory factors:

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

2. the nature of the copyrighted work;

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

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

So if you use the entire work, it's almost certainly NOT going to be fair use because it would be ALL of the copyrighted work used. A sentence here or there might be depending on how much it relates to the whole work. But would you honestly think that you can reproduce Harry Potter if you omit a single letter? Of course not. And it would certainly not be fair use if you reproduced the entire work.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you that makes sense...can you by any chance point me to an example of when someone was sued for using a quote without permission?

Here's a good site that has a number of cases: https://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/cases/

Ask Your Own Legal Question

By the way, if you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this question (having spent more than an hour with you and answering all your follow up questions) can you please change your rating to 5 stars (you rated it 4 stars, but you can change it). Thanks!

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I'd be happy to change your rating to 5 stars but it won't let me??

You've tried to click on the fifth star? I've not had anyone have issues changing it before...

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I'm clicking on the 5th star and no dice...I'm using chrome on a mac, then I switched to firefox and it still would not let me add the 5th star...I'm sorry!

Understood. I do appreciate that you tried. That's the first time that I have heard about that.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Was this answer helpful?
Ask ScottyMacEsq Your Own Question
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 18,006
18,006 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

ScottyMacEsq is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

8,775 satisfied customers

JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

24,353 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

INFOLAWYER

INFOLAWYER

Attorney

20,727 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses

JPEsq

JPEsq

Attorney

2,132 satisfied customers

Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor

Law Educator, Esq.

Law Educator, Esq.

Attorney

42,358 satisfied customers

JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law

Ellen

Ellen

Lawyer, Consultant

8,238 satisfied customers

25 years of experience helping people like you.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

Attorney

292 satisfied customers

7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.

< Previous | Next >

Related Legal Questions
Can I withdrawal my 14 year old from school in 8th grade
Can I withdrawal my 14 year old from school in 8th grade with 1-1/2 months left to the school year? He is doing poorly and struggling with anxiety and social problems. We want to set him up for cyber … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
10,287 satisfied customers
My wife and i established a revocable abd placed stocks in
my wife and i established a revocable abd placed stocks in as well as our house … read more
Barrister
Barrister
Attorney/Landlord/Realtor
Doctoral Degree
36,686 satisfied customers
I live in Lincoln Illinois there are several stray cats
i live in Lincoln Illinois there are several stray cats running around town ive had hungry strays show up to my house ,i have fed antried to find homes for them,the city code officer sent me a letter … read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
JD
19,297 satisfied customers
I have 2 evictions filed because of relationship endings. No
I have 2 evictions filed because of relationship endings. No money is involved and there was never a lease. I moved out in the 5 day allotted time. Now, I don't know how I'm going to find a place to l… read more
Juliana
Juliana
Attorney at law
Doctoral Degree
18 satisfied customers
My parked car was hit but the insured has not filed a claim
my parked car was hit but the insured has not filed a claim and their insurance company won't move forward to repair my vehicle. What can I do? … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
32,182 satisfied customers
I am disable veteran who broke the real estate contract. Do
I am disable veteran who broke the real estate contract. Do I have the right not to be sued for the breach? … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
10,287 satisfied customers
Can my ex use my voice ( skype) against me in court I have
can my ex use my voice ( skype) against me in court I have sole legal custody of my kids I didn't told any word like I will kill you or....or I told her was that do your best be prepared for the worst… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
10,287 satisfied customers
When a person uses Social media to slander your name and
When a person uses Social media to slander your name and defame your character … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
32,182 satisfied customers
I was audited as usual this year for my small business. To
I was audited as usual this year for my small business. To my surprise they put me in a category with licensed plumbers because I repair an occasional broken sprinkler head or line in someones yard. I… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
10,287 satisfied customers
I'm 75 years old very sick I'm considering going to any
I'm 75 years old very sick I'm considering going to any place where assisted suicide is legal. Does it affect my insurance payment? … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
32,182 satisfied customers
I bought a car and went to jail before registering it in my
i bought a car and went to jail before registering it in my name ex gifrlfriend took title down got it in her name thinking I coulod get bonded out with it she had to get interlock put in it for a yea… read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
JD
19,297 satisfied customers
Requesting discovery for a traffic ticket... Defendant would
Requesting discovery for a traffic ticket... Defendant would like to obtain the officer's notes, any related documents, video recordings, audio recordings, and a list of all tickets written by that of… read more
Juliana
Juliana
Attorney at law
Doctoral Degree
18 satisfied customers
How can I serve a Small Claims Summons and Complaint on
Hello. How can I serve a Small Claims Summons and Complaint on someone who is apparently living in a tent outskirts to town. and has no address, PO Box, or other means of contact (other than a disposa… read more
Sean K
Sean K
Attorney/Member
JD
463 satisfied customers
Oct 22 2016 my father passed away after 2 massive heart
oct 22 2016 my father passed away after 2 massive heart attacks. he drove himself to the er early that morning, and did not survive much longer after that. no one in the family was contacted until aro… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
42,358 satisfied customers
I have a no contact and i am staying in a motel and the
I have a no contact and i am staying in a motel and the victim doesn't want to press charges what can i do to go home i pay all the bills and ren he doesn't work … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
10,287 satisfied customers
My husband & I changed Primary Care Physicians back in 2016
My husband & I changed Primary Care Physicians back in 2016 due to lack of care. Since Oct 2017, my husband has been having severe medical problems with multiple testing, non-invasive & invasive, surg… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
42,358 satisfied customers
I was co-owner of a timeshare "Palm Beach Shores Vacation
I was co-owner of a timeshare "Palm Beach Shores Vacation Village". I signed a "quit claim" to give the property over to the co-owner (Ron) he wanted to keep the property and he was trying to purchase… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
42,358 satisfied customers
Is there a statue of limitations on a debt? i live in texas
is there a statue of limitations on a debt? i live in texas i received credit from this merchant in 2003 and for whatever reason it was never paid. now i work for that merchant and after being employe… read more
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
Doctoral Degree
189 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x