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Need a release to quote someone?

New Here ,
Sep 08, 2023 Sep 08, 2023

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This seems like a dumb question, but it was posed to me and I was surprised to find myself stumped.  The question is: do you need to get a signed release to quote someone in a media project?  To me, the obvious answer would be "no," just based on how I see quotes used in the media all the time.  I mean, I'm certain no one is getting a release from Ted Cruz or Tom Brady to use their quotes in a book or news article.  However, I couldn't find a definitve answer anywhere online that spelled this out.  Anyway, as confident as I am, I'd love to report back that I got a ruling on this from an authoritative source.  Anybody got the legal jargon to settle this?

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Community Expert ,
Sep 08, 2023 Sep 08, 2023

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If you use the quote for commercial purposes, you should get their permission first.  Quotes are protected by copyright. Legally you should get permission even if you appropriately attribute the quote to the rightful owner. Many commonly cited authors don't mind having their famous lines reused, but some do, so tread carefully.  Consult a legal expert. When in doubt, leave it out. 

 

 

Nancy O'Shea— Product User, Community Expert & Moderator
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Community Expert ,
Sep 08, 2023 Sep 08, 2023

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As Nancy said, seek legal counsel on this if you don't get written permission from the source.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 11, 2023 Sep 11, 2023

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It depends if you are part of the Press or not. 
Or how good their Public Relations Officer is. Any press is good press.
You may not have to get their permission, but if you quote a source, you're supposed to log it APA style in the bib. Bibliography.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 08, 2024 Jun 08, 2024

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Nobody asked me for permission! Book on Amazon:

 

QUOTE-Amazon.jpg

______________________________________________________

And a Google search brings the results below (there were more, but you get the idea) - Nobody ever asked me. Also, short words and phrases cannot be copyrighted. If that were the case, someone would own "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Birthday." It must be the length of, say, a sonnet with 9 or 10 lines. It doesn't mean it wouldn't be a good idea to ask the person, as @i wood37919666uvcs suggested. Even though nobody in these examples asked me for permission, I never went after them or anything. I'm happy to be quoted. But some people might not be, you never know, and I don't know the legalities of it, and even if it's okay, you'll incur lawyer fees if someone tries to object, and you'll have a lawyer bill even if you did nothing wrong.

QUOTES-1.jpg

And:quotes.jpg

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