Are there copyright issues with publishing an ebook of quotes from famous authors, presidents, celebrities, etc?

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Are there copyright issues with publishing an ebook of quotes from famous authors, presidents, celebrities, etc?

Asked on December 15, 2012 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Quptes that are in the public domain--such as those that are sufficiently old (as a very rough rule of thumb, more than 75 years old) can be published without violating copyright; however quotes that are not in the public domain may still be copyrighted, which means publishing them could subject you to liability. Also, if a quote is misattributed--i.e. that person never said that thing--and it casts the alleged speaker in a bad light, that could lead to a defamation case. You should consult with an intellectual property attorney before doing something like this, or at the very lease, thoroughly familiarize yourself with the copyright laws and defamation laws.


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