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Greenwolf103
03-21-2005, 02:08 AM
I've put together a themed booklet of quotations. I've been told that I must first obtain permission before I use a person's quote but I can't remember EVERYWHERE I got the quotes from (I've been collecting these quotes for many years) and some of the quotes are from Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Poe, Frost and other people not exactly living and breathing anymore. I know I can try to get permission from their estate but I don't know how. And one widely published poet I tried to get permission from ignored my letters.

So, what should I do? There isn't a quotes book like this and I think it'd be something poets and admirers of poetry would like. Please advise....

--Dawn

Medievalist
03-21-2005, 02:21 AM
I've put together a themed booklet of quotations. I've been told that I must first obtain permission before I use a person's quote but I can't remember EVERYWHERE I got the quotes from (I've been collecting these quotes for many years) and some of the quotes are from Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Poe, Frost and other people not exactly living and breathing anymore.

There are two issues. First, attribution. You must have the source for every quotation. No question. You must. For poems you need title, author, page, and line numbers, and the publication info. For plays, same stuff, with act and scene and line number and pages.

Second, the rights.

Don't get permission until you have a publisher. The publisher will help determine what you need to get permission for, and you'll need information about when it will be published, and how many copies, etc., in order to request the permission.

If you can find a decent, accurate public domain text (say possibly the Gutenberg texts), verify that you're being accurate. If it's a text that you can't get a decent public domain text for (some public domain texts of poetry, or Shakespeare are full of errors), and you can't go by the date of the poet, then find a good edition, and the address and contact information just in case you have a permissions issue.

Keep in mind that for some poets--like Frost, or Emily Dickinson, some poems are public domain, and some aren't. (There are a handful of Frost poems, for instance, that are public domain.) This is because the poems may have been in manuscript until long after the poet died, and were published much later, and therefore they're still covered by the publisher/editor/estate's copyright.

So basically, find information, keep records, then get a publisher, then worry about permissions.

Greenwolf103
03-21-2005, 06:49 PM
Thank you, Medievalist. :)

There are some quotes coming from poems, with the lines formatted accordingly. What I have is the author's name and the title of the poem. I don't have line numbers because that information wasn't provided from where I got the quote from.

A lot of these quotes came from other quotations books (like Bartlett's) and, for the most part, didn't have much beyond the author's name and title if the quote came from their work. There's also quotes that came from magazines and the Internet. There's even a few from old editions of Writer's Market.

Thanks for the info, though. It helps!

veinglory
03-21-2005, 07:10 PM
For most of these quotes you should be able to track down the attribution by googling phrases within quote marks (to get exact word order).

Greenwolf103
03-22-2005, 05:42 AM
Thank you, vein! :)