View Full Version : Do you need to get permission to use reviews?

11-03-2006, 02:40 AM
This is an interesting one. In the past if a magazine/paper has done a favourable review of my book I have copied parts and in some cases the entire review for my website or other promo material.

I've never given the copyright a second thought, but today someone raised the issue. Do I have reprint rights? Hmmmm good question. I am sure that it is okay to extract a few lines from it (fair use rules would apply) but what about copying the entire review which may be 200 words or more?

Does anyone know the rules?

11-03-2006, 03:55 PM
I don't know the rules...but I would certainly ask before posting a review. Just my two cents. If the review is online, couldn't you just post a link?

11-03-2006, 05:51 PM
I think that you are free and clear as long as you credit the source.

Also, you have consider the purpose of the piece you're quoting. The point of the review is to inform about your project, so there's a sybiotic relationship.

"Cracking read."
I. Lovett
Springfield Tribune Herald Observer
As long as it says that, I would have thought you were covered. Likely as not, even if that isn't the case, you're providing free advertising for the Springfield THO and it's GOOG advertising because if you have fans and they see a great review from that source, it follows they will like that newspaper as it has a similar taste to them. They should be cool with it.

11-04-2006, 12:56 AM
For a short review like that it is no problem. But if you want to copy the entire review which may be several hundred words then I think you need permission. I'm just trying to be certain...

KTC the reviews are mainly print reviews not online

11-05-2006, 12:59 AM
I would imagine that quotes would be fair use as long as you credited the source. I mean, we don't get George Bush's permission to quote him do we? As for the whole review, I wouldn't bother with re-printing it. Most people just want to know a few blurbs about it and that's it. About the only people who read reviews in their entirety (except for reviews in popular mags and newspapers) are librarians and buyers for book stores. And speaking as a library employee, if a book is popular enough or critically-acclaimed enough to generate a big buzz, the review is irrelevant; we order the book.

Reviews come in best with niche titles or under-the-radar works, and most consumers would be content even then with just a few quotes.

11-05-2006, 02:26 AM
I don't normally reprint entire reviews, but sometimes book sellers ask for them so it's handy to know. I have a situation at the moment with an online seller who would like to put the entire review of about 200 words on their website.

Quoting George Bush is different. His speeches are issued as press releases, transcripts etc and are freely available for distribution. Written reviews in a magazine are copyright and owned by the publisher.

11-07-2006, 08:36 PM
I'm a reviewer, so I have definite opinions on this subject. Presumably, online booksellers like Amazon have blanket permission from the periodicals to reproduce entire reviews from Publishers Weekly, etc., but aside from that, I don't believe that entire reviews should be re-posted without permission, even where they are anonymous. Reprinting quotes is fine--but if there's a name on the review, IMO you ought to get permission from the author before reprinting it in its entirety. It really ticks me off when people reprint my reviews without asking first--especially where they don't attribute them or provide a URL to my website or the original publication in which the review appeared. (If they do ask, I nearly always say yes.)

- Victoria

11-08-2006, 01:30 AM
Thanks Victoria - that backed up what I expected to hear. I always attribute the quote but I suspected that printing in entirety required permission, so I will organise it...