1. sophia_esteed
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    sophia_esteed Senior Member

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    Question about quotation

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by sophia_esteed, Oct 17, 2010.

    Hi, guys.
    I have a question about using quotation.
    I'm writing a chapter in which I need to quote a specific work from another author and some material from movies and then model what happens in the chapter after the situations in the book and movies.
    I explicitly quoted the author and title of the book and the titles of the movies as well and I explained why I did it but would this still count as plagiarism?
    It's a narrative deviced most used by some post-modern authors I studied at the university but I've never used it before so I was unsure as to which degree I can use reference from other works without falling into plagiarism.
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    It depends on the copyright status of the works you're quoting from, but you'll most likely need the permission of the original author.
     
  3. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not plagiarism if you give a direct quote and acknowledge your source, and the work is for academic purposes like a dissertation.
    When you write your continuing bit, using the example as a model, you have to paraphrase. You can't risk it seeming as if you're trying to pass the words of the original work off as your own.
    If you are going to publish this as a work of fiction, I guess you'll need permission.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Correct. You can use short excerpts, properly attributed, without permission in certain circumstances called Fair Use. Fair Use is primarily use in academic papers, reviews, and the like. It does not apply to inclusion in a work of fiction. For that you must have the copyright owner's permission.
     
  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I'd say it isn't plagiarism because you're attributing it, and plagiarism involves passing off someone else's work as your own.

    It can still be copyright infringement without being plagiarism, though. As Cogito said, you may be covered under Fair Use. A big part of that question is whether this is a commercial or academic use. Other factors can come into play as well.

    Another thing to consider is this - even if you think it is likely that it's a fair use, how likely to sue are the copyright owners? Even if you're right a copyright suit can cost you a lot of money to defend.
     
  6. sophia_esteed
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    sophia_esteed Senior Member

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    I see, it's more complicated than I thought.
    Actually at this stage I wasn't thinking of getting the work published at all, but it is a work of fiction, so I guess it would qualify under commercial use.
    I just wished to add like, a feeling of reality by inserting a web of references that pointed to books and movies deep routed in our actual culture, to kinda give some foundations to the culture described in the novel, which is set in the 25th century.
    Then what if I just quote a book's or movie's title and the situation is original?
    Like if two characters are having a dialogue about that book or movie?
    Or if a character is thinking back on a book or movie he's read/seen and loves?
    Can I do that or does that involve problems of copyright infringement as well?
    Another problem I'm struggling with is about brands.
    Like if I'd like for a character to use an Apple MacBook or Sony PSP?
    How do I handle brands in a work of fiction?
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Titles are not copyrightable, and neither are story ideas. Your characters can mention movies by title, and even discuss the plot. They can also light up a Marlboro, pop open a Heineken, and chow down on In-N-Out burgers in your story. Trademarks aren't infringed unless it results in potential market confusion with a competitor.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yup!... cog is right... so is steerpike...
     
  9. sophia_esteed
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    sophia_esteed Senior Member

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    Thanks guys. That helped clearing up some doubts.
     

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