Movie Quote and Theme

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Movie Quote and Theme

Postby AJReis » Thu May 10, 2018 10:15 am

There is a 12 word quote from a recent movie character that I am using as the theme of my book. I would like to print that quote in the beginning of the book somewhere - you know, a standalone line - don't know the official term for it. My question is: Do I have to get permission from the movie company to do that? It's not a quote that you'd be able to identify the movie with, you'd not know where it's from if you read it. Just concerned about some big movie corporation threatening a lawsuit.


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Re: Movie Quote and Theme

Postby ostarella » Thu May 10, 2018 12:21 pm

Quotes are generally acceptable to use as part of the "Fair Use" rules of copyright:

"How much of someone else's work can I use without getting permission?

Under the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright statute, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports. There are no legal rules permitting the use of a specific number of words, a certain number of musical notes, or percentage of a work. Whether a particular use qualifies as fair use depends on all the circumstances. See, Fair Use Index, and Circular 21, Reproductions of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians."


Bear in mind you must include where the quote came from.
"The trick of the fiction writer is the beautiful lie..." Thomas Fox Averill

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Re: Movie Quote and Theme

Postby RobTheThird » Thu May 10, 2018 3:46 pm

This is best discussed with a lawyer specializing in intellectual property. For example:

> May the force be with you

That phrase is only six words, and maybe Fair Use/copyright is okay. Maybe not. Copyright, however, isn't the only concern. Is the phrase trademarked? I'm not enough of a legal expert to be able to answer those questions.

I *think* you're okay for the same reasons @ostarella has already given. But my legal advice is worth exactly as much as you paid me for it should the holders of rights to that quote come to collect.

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