Quotes & Copyright

Well, I never thought I would be gleeful and saying, “Yay! He’s dead!” so often in one week.

No, I am not a terrible person. But when I’m seeking to use a quote from a copyrighted work, I do smile when I notice the person has been dead at least 70 years. That means I *can* use the quote in question.

I listened to a copyright attorney give a seminar about a month ago. One item he mentioned was that in order to use a lyric, quote, poem from someone without worry of copyright infringement was to ensure the creator has been dead for at least 70 years. That means, anyone that died in the 1800s, 1910, etc. – their quotes can be used (for the most part – there are always exceptions).

For my Southern Ghosts Series, I have quotes before every chapter in Book 1. At first I thought I would have to remove them all, but it turns out, most of the creators have been dead 75-300 years. Yay! So true, while I don’t cheer on death, I am happy I can use most of the quotes. For some, I am seeking permission. For others, I will simply remove the quote and use another one that is legal.

You never know what phrase is going to make you happy when you wake up in the morning…