1. Miracle_Boy

    Miracle_Boy New Member

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    Quotations before each chapter

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Miracle_Boy, Dec 22, 2016.

    I have 27 chapters in the memoir that I am writing.
    If I plan to use quotations (mostly short) at the beginning of each of the chapters would that be considered plagiarism?
     
  2. Miracle_Boy

    Miracle_Boy New Member

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    Anyone know.. I'm kind of new to this.

    Thanks!
     
  3. antlad

    antlad Banned

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    Not if you cite it. Probably not if it is the only thing on a page and in quotes. If you use quotes that have been used before, make sure you cite. Make sure the quotes are accurate; most popular, famous ones are not.
    Most likely the most famous quote, that never happened- "Play it again, Sam."
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Not plagiarism if you cite it. Could be a copyright issue, depending on the specific facts.
     
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  5. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    The issue is copyright, not plagiarism.
     
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  6. antlad

    antlad Banned

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    However, it is only copyright if someone has claimed it.
     
  7. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I'm not following? If it was put in a fixed form, it's copyrighted until the "author" (and you can be the author of a blog post or Facebook page) of it explicitly disclaims copyright.
     
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  8. antlad

    antlad Banned

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    OP also never said what type of quotes. From a speech? From a book? From a movie? Is it quoted from a public work? Or a private work?
    Copyrights are a long and meandering maze. They are not as simple as you created it, so you own it. You need to constantly fight for it, or you lose all rights to it. Taking copyrights away from people is an industry in itself. Fairly easy to do.
     
  9. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    You're largely incorrect. It is as simple as you created it, you put it in a fixed form, you own it. It used to someday expire, but I see no hope that anything currently in copyright will ever expire; Mickey Mouse makes sure of it.
     
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  10. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Yes, copyright vests in the author (or rights holder) by operation of law. There is no need to take additional steps to have copyright in your creations.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
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  11. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Taking away someone's copyright isn't that easy. In the U.S., at least, it can only be transferred by written assignment (outside of a court order after determination of ownership).
     
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  12. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    By way of reference, see 17 U.S.C. 204(a):

    "A transfer of copyright ownership, other than by operation of law, is not valid unless an instrument of conveyance, or a note or memorandum of the transfer, is in writing and signed by the owner of the rights conveyed or such owner’s duly authorized agent."
     
  13. antlad

    antlad Banned

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    There are different ways to take a copyright away from a holder. Learn how copyrights work. It is exactly the same as patents. All burden of proof is on the holder. Read copyright law, it tells you what you need to do to liberate a copyright.
    A short history of copyright law-
    Original copyright laws expressly forbid any artistic creations from obtaining a copyright, for very good reasons. Money and pressure forced lawmakers to add artistic creations into copyright law, a relatively recent addition. However, not much changed, and it was written with precision to put all burden of proof on the holder, thereby guaranteeing that most artistic creations will never be defended.
    All I have to do to liberate a copyright from you-
    Show a pattern of you not defending it (How? By spreading it far and wide and by creating many websites that have the work). It then falls on you to prove to a court that you do defend it. At that point you have already lost. I would have submitted hundreds of cases where you did not defend your copyright.
    Copyright laws are thought of very differently than how the law works. I live in Cali, there is a very popular saying here- 'Pedestrians have the right of way.' Unfortunately, like copyright holders, every day people learn that they should have read the law. Their loved one is now dead and there is usually little that can be done. Why? Pedestrians don't have the right of way by law.
    It is exactly the same thinking with copyrights. You have no protection except the protection you proactively defend.
    When you talk about King, Rowling, etc, there are a number of large companies that depend on them for money, so they take some of the burden of enforcement, but the author has to as well.

    Here is something I did a couple years ago (yes, most consider me to be a ____).
    I came across some guy complaining that all day long he sends out cease and desist letters about a picture he took and put on his website. I read his rantings and looked at the picture. It was a crap snapshot of an old hotel at an angle. I grabbed it and did a reverse image search. Dozens of pages of results came up.
    What had happened is someone saw his picture, wrote a horror story, attached the pic to the top of the story. Then others grabbed that pic and used it at the top of horror stories. Some tinted it, reversed it, etc.
    I then stripped all the meta info. I put it up on a website and wrote a paragraph about an old building. Sure enough, I get a cease and desist from this guy. I told him to fuck off and threatened to sue him if he continued to use my image. He sent a couple more that I ignored; then I got one from an attorney. It was a jumble of legalese that meant exactly nothing, I figured the attorney was a friend, since it never stated the guy was a client. I told him to fuck off and once again threatened to sue the guy if he used my image. I got a hard-assed, yet confused reply. I sent back a reply that said that when I took that image there was some guy standing next to me; and if that guy wants the rights to my image, he needs to prove that I was not the one standing next to him when I took the picture.
    Done. Cannot be proven. Would be beyond expensive to prove. It all comes down to brains and money. I may not have a lot of money, but I sure do excel at gaming almost any system created by man.
    I have been paid to pave the way for certain patents and copyrights to be tossed into public domain. See? Nobody needs to own your copyright, just need to get your rights eroded.
    I worked with a guy that owns a patent that could be worth billions of dollars. He spent a lot of money on it. I pressed him to enforce it, he refused. There are now people working to get it tossed into the public domain. It is one of those patents that should never be granted-
    The exclusive right to fill any balloon with any material other than a gas.
    Crazy, huh? He is about to lose the patent due to non-enforcement. He has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars into the patent, and it does not matter one bit to a court of law.
     
  14. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    @antlad that's almost all bullshit. Don't spread bad legal information on the forums.
     
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  15. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    No. Just no.

    Your first story just demonstrates that lawyers cost money and sometimes people won't spend the money that it would cost to defend their copyright. Your second story is about patent, not copyright.
     
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  16. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    And it's mostly wrong about patents.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
  17. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    In addition to being factually wrong, let's not ignore the other element of this--only an asshole would pull a stunt like this.

    OP--do you want to be an asshole? Do you want to show your appreciation of someone else's work by using it without their permission? If so... well, you still shouldn't follow the examples of this post as it's something that could create significant difficulties for you if you ever want your work published. But hopefully you don't want to be an asshole, so you don't really have to worry about sorting through the legalities.
     
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  18. Miracle_Boy

    Miracle_Boy New Member

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    I am using some of the quotes from book of quotes, and some from the internet. These quotes go well with the tone of each of the chapter.
     
  19. Miracle_Boy

    Miracle_Boy New Member

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    Thanks for the responses.

    I should have provided more information in my post.
    I am planning to use what are called quotations. These are from the book of quotes, and some known quotes that I found over the internet.
    How can I find out if the quotes are copyrighted. When I tried searching the copyright.gov site it doesn't show relevant results.
     
  20. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    How old are they?

    If they're new enough, they're going to be covered by copyright. They won't show up in copyright records unless they're registered, and it would likely be the underlying works from which the quotes originated that are registered.

    You can't rely on inactivity by the copyright owner. Contrary to some of the information above, you don't have to enforce your copyright to retain it. The same is true for patents (though those require maintenance fees to maintain them in force). Trademarks do have to be enforced/policed to maintain them, but that's a function of how trademarks operate.

    For older works it can be a real pain to figure out if they're still under copyright. If they're prior to 1923, then they're almost always in the public domain in the U.S.

    There is also Fair Use to think of. Even if the quotes come from a work that is under copyright, you might be able to use them under Fair Use, but that's always a risk and should be evaluated carefully.
     

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