Movie Quote and Theme

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  TheContemplativeWordsmith 2 days, 8 hours ago.

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  • #346973

    Jack Taylor
    Participant

    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.

    Thanks!

  • #655979

    Anonymous

    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.”

    https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-index.html

    Also: https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/index.html

    Bear in mind you must include where the quote came from.

  • #655980

    Anonymous

    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.

  • #656782

    I agree – always best to consult intellectual property counsel.

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