View Full Version : Permissions Question

09-06-2007, 11:08 PM
I'm in the process of signing a contract for a business nonfiction book, and I'm confused about permissions. I'll be referencing a variety of standard marketing theories in my book (e.g., the 4Ps, SWOT analysis, etc.). Most of these theories are things marketers learn in their undergrad intro to marketing class. This book is meant for the graduate-level or professional market, so I'll be referencing the theories and telling how they relate to the topic of my book. Do I need to get permission to discuss the theories?

09-07-2007, 01:44 AM
Hi Susan!

I don't think so, though I'm not entirely sure. It seems to me that a theory is justa theory -- there's no ownership of it per se that might require permissions. I mean, I doubt writers had to ask the good professor permission to quote "Einstein's Theory of Relativity." I would guess such things fall into common ownership.

But then, I really don't know. So I guess I'm no help...


Tish Davidson
09-07-2007, 03:16 AM
Permissions usually apply to graphs, photos, tables, song lyrics, poems, and direct quotes from material.

Stijn Hommes
09-07-2007, 01:04 PM
You're fine. Unless you directly quote the theories in question, you don't need permission. You'll only need it when you actually quote the theories and even then, you can probably do so without asking for permission by describing them in your own words.

In academics, you can usually cite a theory and mention the source at the end.