If I want to put quotes from a famous person on my website and then quote that person, are there any legal restrictions or is it totally legal?

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If I want to put quotes from a famous person on my website and then quote that person, are there any legal restrictions or is it totally legal?

Also, if I want to put a picture of the celebrity with the quote from them, is that allowed or are there legal restrictions/limitations?

Asked on August 3, 2015 under Business Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

A person's quotes belong to them others cannot use them for commercial purposes or gain without the permission of the person or their heirs, estate, etc.. There are exceptions, such as the use of short quotes in educational publications or websites, or for news reporting, but those are the exceptions, not the rule generally, you need permission to do this. Of course, not all famous people or their estate care or would take legal action and if the person quote is more than 75 years old e.g. Mark Twain, Lincoln, you can generally assume that it is no in the public domain and can be used at will.


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