Can I publish excerpts from a letter without permission?

Asked by: Malikah Jackson

Unfortunately, quoting or excerpting someone else’s work falls into one of the grayest areas of copyright law. There is no legal rule stipulating what quantity is OK to use without seeking permission from the owner or creator of the material.

Can I publish a letter written to me?

As the recipient of the letter, you exercise control over the tangible copy which you may keep, sell, or discard. However, you do not have the right to reproduce, publish, or exercise any of the copyright owner’s other exclusive rights in the letter.

How much can you quote from a book without permission?

What is the amount and substantiality of the material used? The American Psychological Association allows authors to cite 400 words in single- text extracts, or 800 words in a series of text extracts, without permission (American Psychological Association, 2010).

Do you need permission to publish a quote?

You DON’T need permission:

To quote books or other works published before 1923. For news stories or scientific studies. Shorter quotes, references and paraphrasing is usually ok without permission. Copying large amounts of a story or study, however, may require permission from the writer or publisher.

Do you need permission for an epigraph?

Whether an epigraph requires permission depends on both the source and your use of the quoted material. Epigraphs from materials that are in the public domain do not require permission. Epigraphs from copyrighted materials must either qualify as fair use or be used with the permission of the rightsholder.

Is it illegal to publish a private letter?

So, in general, publishing a letter without permission could be ruled to be an infringement of copyright and breach of privacy and confidentiality.

Can you publish someone else’s letters?

With respect to “correspondence you received from another individual,” be it a traditional “snail-mail” letter or an electronic communication, the general rule is that the writer, and not the recipient, “owns” the copyright and you may not use it in your work without the permission of the copyright owner except to the …

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Is paraphrasing considered copyright infringement?

Yes. Among other rights, copyright law grants a copyright owner exclusive control over any unauthorized copying of the copyrighted work. Paraphrasing may be construed as copying if it is “substantially similar” to the copyrighted material.

How long can a quote be without violating copyright?

Written permission is required for the following: 300 or more words from a single prose work in book form—fewer than 300 words is considered fair use. (This is a subjective standard that has not been fully defined by the court. Check with your publisher to find out where their threshold is.)

What are the 4 fair use exceptions to copyright?

Since copyright law favors encouraging scholarship, research, education, and commentary, a judge is more likely to make a determination of fair use if the defendant’s use is noncommercial, educational, scientific, or historical.

What is violation of copyright?

Copyright infringement is the use or production of copyright-protected material without the permission of the copyright holder. Copyright infringement means that the rights afforded to the copyright holder, such as the exclusive use of a work for a set period of time, are being breached by a third party.

Are motivational quotes copyrighted?

According to US copyright law, the legal rights to a quote belong by default to its author (or speaker). Quotes are considered intellectual property, which is protected under the law.

How do I find out if a quote is copyrighted?

Go to the official website of the United States Copyright Office to use its online “Public Catalog Search” for works copyrighted after 1978. Use the “Keyword” search field for phrases in copyright records. Surround the phrase with double quotation marks to search for the precise phrase.

Are catch phrases copyrighted?

The answer is yes – a catchphrase can be trademarked, but only for the protection of its use in connection with a particular product or services. The primary role of a trademark is to identify the source of a product or service.

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What phrases are copyrighted?

‘Hakuna Matata’ and other unlikely trademarked phrases

  • ‘That’s hot’
  • ‘Things fall apart’
  • ‘You cannot be serious’
  • ‘This sick beat’
  • ‘I pity the fool’
  • ‘You’re fired’

Are quotes covered by copyright?

9.9 However, in Australian copyright law, quotation is not a term of art. The Copyright Act does not provide a stand-alone exception for quotation. Rather, other concepts are used to govern whether a quotation infringes copyright.

How do I protect my quotes?

To register your quote, submit an application form, deposit and filing fee to the U.S. Copyright Office. You can submit an application online at or you can mail a hardcopy. If the U.S. Copyright Office needs additional information, it will contact you.

Can I put a quote on a shirt and sell it?

In short, if a design is copyrighted, don’t go and include it in your Shop. Only the owner of that exclusive design has the authorization to monetize it. This doesn’t just go for t-shirt designs; any written, visual, even verbal content, have potential to fall under the copyright law.

Is it legal to post quotes on Instagram?

Under Instagram’s Terms of Use and Community Guidelines you can only post content to Instagram that doesn’t violate someone else’s intellectual property rights. The best way to help make sure that what you post to Instagram doesn’t violate copyright law is to only post content that you’ve created yourself.

Can I share quotes on social media?

Share your original quotes throughout all your social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest) using other hashtags. It may make sense to tweet the text version of your quote (to avoid posting too much visual content on Twitter). Find popular Pinterest group boards and apply to post there.

Can you copy quotes?

Anytime you copy and paste verbatim from a source and do not give the source credit it is plagiarism. If you do copy and paste a passage word for word, you must put the information in quotations (i.e. ” “) marks and give credit to the author.

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Is it legal to post quotes?

According to US copyright law, legal rights to a quote belong, by default, to the author or speaker. The quotes are considered intellectual property and protected under law. If you are not the original author of a quote, one of two things must be true to use it freely on social media.

Is it legal to post quotes from books?

If you’re quoting from a book, it might be fine to quote 250 words (about a page). But if you’re quoting from a 1,000-word blog post, then about 50–70 words would be more appropriate. This is normally considered ‘fair use’, and you don’t have to ask for permission.

Can you quote in a blog?

You can quote almost anyone in your blog posts. You might go for: Fellow bloggers. This makes it easy to include and attribute quotes – you can just link to the original blog post – and also helps you build strong relationships.

Are Disney quotes copyrighted?

The trademark prevents the saying from being used on clothing, hats, or footgear resembling Disney’s The Lion King. The phrase itself can continue to be used in conversation or elsewhere, as long as the words aren’t being used on something that looks like a Disney knock-off.

Can I draw Disney characters and sell them?

No you cannot paint, offer for sale, sell, or otherwise tinker with a Disney character, at least it is illegal without an express license from the Walt Disney company.

Can you sell Disney inspired crafts?

You cannot legally make and sell any product with Disney lyrics, quotes, or characters on it without permission from The Walt Disney World Company.