Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Copyright Question From Amy ?

I have a question about intellectual property rights of quotes that we use and I wanted to pose it to the group ?

Specifically, my question is about using quotes on the photos to advertise the restaurants? Or might I (or the restaurant) be vulnerable to law suit or having to pay royalties? Somewhere I thought I read that people own the intellectual property rights to their words throughout their lives and after they die their heirs own the rights for an additional 20 years--am I remembering that correctly?


  1. we don't care too much in my country. rofl
    so quote freely none will suit you

  2. Amy, I think you can find the latest law in your country if you Google it.

  3. Am I missing something here? What restaurants?

  4. Amy is doing photos for a restaurant she is involved with I think...

  5. You would be liable if you did not have the author's permission. That is, after all, for commercial gain. These days, the requirement extends beyond commercial gain, and you need permission for any use of copyrighted material. Everything that is put down is copyrighted, regardless of whether it has been registered with the Library of Congress (or like equivalent in other countries).

    When I wrote my historical novel, I contacted 48 companies for permission to mention their trade names in my book. Delightfully, all but two said "yes," and more than a few were flattered beyond words that I wanted to include them. Of course, I gave each and every one credit on an acknowledgments page. It should be noted that they were small groups, for the most part. When you start contacting the big-name corporations, approval is much less likely to be given. They guard their trade names as though they were Fort Knox.

    Bottom line: Definitely get permission. You would be liable without it.

  6. Her husband and their family own a restaurant and I think she wants to use a quote for one of their ads.

  7. I dont know tha answer to this one sorry!
    I do know that they drag people through courts at a drop of a hat here!
    good luck with finding out anything, they make the laws on this filled with Grey areas

  8. if i remember it right from the ad company where i used to work, the etiquette is to include the author's name along with the words and the product/place being endorsed.

    if you check out ads by famous brands, eg, tag hauer, you'd notice that the celebrity's name is included in the ad campaign, along with product.

    but if it's a quote, a common one, like for example that of shakespeare or benjamin franklin, i don't see any reason to be concerned with copyright.

  9. That is because those works are in the public domain. Check with a university press or the Library of Congress (or like equivalent in your country). They can tell you whether the work you are quoting is in the public domain.

  10. Hi everyone! Thanks for your input!

    POINT OF CLARIFICATION: My husband's family owns a restaurant which my husband manages. I do art for the restaurant including taking photos for advertising and running our Facebook fan page. I'm not sure why I used the plural "restaurants" in my message to Joel last night, other than perhaps cuz it was late and I was tired.

    QUESTION: My question is regarding a couple of images and words that I've made for the group and can I post them on the restaurant's Facebook fan page.

    First, my entry for this week

    The quote is by Leslie Newman but I don't know who s/he is? There are a lot of Leslie Newmans on the internet which confounds my search.

    The second image is one that I haven't posted for the group yet (I'm waiting for the right theme), but I like the image and I'd love to post it on the Facebook fan page for Valentine's Day if I could do it legally

    That quote is by Harriet van Horne who I was able to look up on the internet, and she died about 12 years ago.

    Of course the images are mine so I've already used them, but can I use them with the words on our Facebook fan page or any other advertising?

  11. One more:

    This image with a quote by Galileo I should be able to use without any problem because he's been dead for, well, way more than 20 years. Am I correct in believing that I can market this photo with the quote all I want?

  12. Tread carefully. Again, a university press or the Library of Congress can help you.

  13. Thanks. The search is difficult because info on quotes is so obscure that it usually isn't even mentioned in any summaries or articles. And I hurt my back the other day so sitting at the computer is making it stiffen up, I need to keep moving! I have a feeling that here in the US Intellectual Property regarding words/quotes is case law, so I think I'm going to change my search to Ashleigh Brilliant because I know that he has won several law suits regarding his quotes, so hopefully I can find an article that will cite the exact law and then I can look it up.

  14. Amy, I think this may be the Leslie Newman you are looking for. She wrote a cookbook called "Feasts: Menus for Home-Cooked Celebrations."

    There isn't much information on the page, but it is a place to start. You might check Abebooks or Alibris or some of the other used booksellers to find the publisher's name, and then you can write to them to ask permission to use the quote.

    P.S. Oops, just noted that if you page down on the amazon listing, it gives Harpercollins as the publisher and other info as well.

  15. Amy, sounds like you got some good advice here. I'm just wondering though, wouldn't it be easier if you used your own words on the images instead? That way you can't run into any trouble whatsover? Just a thought...

  16. Yes! That would be easier, but I'm not much of a wordsmith. If inspiration strikes and I come up with some wonderful words then I'd absolutely use them, but for me that's not so easy.