For those who have written or are writing books.....

Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by Scarlett O., Dec 19, 2010.

  1. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    I am working on a book and I have a question and am really getting some conflicting information on the internet. :BangHead:

    How do I know the word limit that there is for quoting another person (giving them credit, of course) without getting their written permission? Is that even true that one can do that?

    What if I don't know who made the quote (some quotes are cited as "author unknown").

    What about images? What if the images doesn't display the owner of the copyright?

    I'm getting frustrated at the varying answers I find.
     
  2. Steven2006

    Steven2006
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    Not sure about quotes, but I'm pretty sure that you cant use images without permission.
     
  3. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Then go here: http://www.copyright.gov/

    General rule of thumb: if in doubt, don't do it.

    Quoting: Look up "fair use laws" for the most accurate answer.
    My personal opinion and I've never gotten in trouble or inspected for copyright violations: The amount you may quote is not set in stone TO MY KNOWLEDGE. Generally, credit the author and only quote as much as you need to get your point across, and that can be done with part of one sentence and rarely needs to go over three sentences. Other than that, get written permission from the author or the person holding the copyright. Never go with simple oral permission, even if you voice record it because sometimes the recording itself can be illegal. ALWAYS have it in writing, even if you don't think you need it.


    Images...never use ones you can't trace back. They could have been stolen in the first place, plus it's much easier to have a friend do it or yourself because it's usually pretty difficult to find someone else's work and have it just happen to fit the image you have in your mind. Plus your friends will love being credited anyhow!

    You're going to get conflicting answers because different parts of the world have different laws and ideas and because some of these questions have fluctuating answers. Different publishers and agents have different things that they fear might cause questions. That only gets worse as technology advances and new legal questions come up. U.S. copyright laws are going to be different than the copyright laws in Guinea-Bissau.

    Chances are that if you're this worried, you're not going to have any problems. Just don't use anything you can't credit, unless it's a very popular quote and you can say "as the saying goes..."

    United States is so sue-happy that it's a virtual guarantee that if you follow official guidelines, you'll be just fine.
     
  4. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    An MLA handbook is a good reference on when and how to cite the use of another's material.

    There are also websites out there that check your book/paper against plagerism. I can't remember just now which my husband used when he wrote his book. I can find out though when he is not in under the influence of the pain meds he's taking at the moment.

    Turn it in dot com is the site he named.
     
    #4 menageriekeeper, Dec 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2010
  5. glfredrick

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    Sadly, you have to contact the publisher in almost every case.

    There is no general rule of thumb that works across the board. Most will have some blurb on the title page that says what can or cannot be copied, so start there.

    Wish it were easier...
     
  6. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    Thanks, everybody! Ya'll are great!
     

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