Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hey People With Books, I Have a Question

Is it possible that my book will not need any permissions? I have no illustrations or photographs, no epigraphs or any other gratuitous quoting, and all of my quotes and references are for the purpose of commentary and analysis. That's fair use, right? Is there anything I'm possibly overlooking?

(My editor referred me to several sites to figure this out, and the conclusion I came to is that it's all fair use--but I want some good old-fashioned anecdotal internet evidence to back up my reasoning. Help me, people!)

4 comments:

Notorious Ph.D. said...

I needed no permissions except for my cover illustration. But I'm in history, not lit.

Ink said...

I had to get permissions even for commentary/analysis. There was a limit of words that could be used from a single article or book. I can't remember exactly what it was, but it's probably on one of those websites listed by your editor.

But my topics were contemporary. If your topic is medieval, then there's probably not the same issues. Perhaps the only permies you'd need is if you go over the word limit for criticism used. If you even need that...there is some debate about that. Depends what your publisher/editor says.

Ink said...

To clarify, I had to get permissions for my *primary* material because the author is living. Not sure if that was clear.

Also, different types of material had different guidelines. For example, I think I had to get permission to quote more than two lines of poetry, regardless of the fact that it was less than the number of allowed words.

It's freakin' confusing.

Sisyphus said...

Your people are all so dead, I think it's okay. The one exception I can think of is anything that is held by the queen --- but that's usually pictures I've seen with the really specific and fawning acknowledgements everywhere.