How to Get Permission to Quote Someone in Your Book


  1. If you want to quote someone, you need to get permission from the author or publisher. Consider it to be a necessary step in writing your book.
  2. Some people will give you permission to quote them, but other people will flat-out say “NO!”
  3. Copyright law in this area is called “Fair Use” which states that you can copy someone without permission if it’s for educational purposes or if they’ve been dead for over 50 years.
  4. If you can’t get permission, consider finding a similar quote (where you can get permission) or try rewriting the idea yourself without blatantly plagiarizing.
  5. Before you can ask for permission to quote someone, first you need to find out who they are! How do you find out when they lived? When did they pass away? Google is great for this…especially if you type their names in quotes: ex. “John Doe”.
  6. If you do decide to quote other people without permission, consider the following:
  • Will the copyright owners find out?
  • Will they care?
  • Will they be honored to be included in your work?
  • Will they look at it as promotion or damage?
  • What if you can’t locate the owner and you really “need” to use that quote?
  • When/if the copyright owners find out, will they take legal action against you for a small quote?
  • And, what if you provide a generous “by-line” in the “Resources” section at the back of your book?
  1. If you do quote them without permission and they decide to sue you, use their Under Fair Use laws, they have to prove that your quote caused them financial damage.

As one last thing to think about:

These are guidelines based on experience. Please don’t take my words as “Gospel” or competent legal advice – I’m not an attorney!

Check out www.publaw.com and www.ivanhoffman.com for some very good information on copyright law.

Permission to Quote

I have read and understand this Permission to Quote form and hereby give permission for _______ to quote responses given by me during the interview conducted on ____________, 2009, as part of Ms. Cook’s historical research project concerning the Freedom Libraries, as initialed below.

 

Option A. _________ (initials) I hereby give permission to Ms. Cook to identify me by name and quote what I said in the interview.

 

Option B. _________ (initials) I hereby give permission to Ms. Cook to

identify me by name and quote what I said in the interview EXCEPT anything I

said about the topic(s) or specific information listed below. The listed

information may be used only

___________ (initials) by citing an anonymous source (“someone said”)

OR

___________ (initials) as background material

 

Option C. ___________ (initials) I choose that everything I said in this

interview shall be kept anonymous (Ms. Cook may not tell my name). Ms. Cook

may use what I said in the study only

___________ (initials) by citing an anonymous source (“someone said”)

OR

___________ (initials) as background material

Name of interviewee: _____________________________________

Signature of interviewee: __________________________________

Place: ______________________________ Date: _________

Mike Rounds

Rounds, Miller and Associates

6318 Ridgepath Court

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

http://www.RoundsMiller.com

310-544-9502   Mike@RoundsMiller.com

“Once a Lieutenant, ALWAYS a Marine”

Semper Fi

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1 Comment

Filed under Of interst to authors

One response to “How to Get Permission to Quote Someone in Your Book

  1. Thanks I found this very helpful

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