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The Art of Story Writing : CHAPTER XXX Quoting from Copyrighted Matter

by Nathaniel C. Fowler, JR   

CHAPTER XXX Quoting from Copyrighted Matter

AUTHORS are cautioned against quoting from copyrighted matter to an extent exceeding a few words, without the consent of the owner of the copyright. While there is no established rule as to just how much one can use with impunity, the author is advised to obtain consent for the reproduction of copyrighted matter, if he quotes it to an extent of more than a short quotation. The author cannot, legally, take matter from one book or article of his own, unless he retains the copyright, and place it in another book or article, which is to be printed or published by other than the one owning the copyright.

The manuscript of a book, if the copyright is held by its publisher, belongs to the publisher, and not to the author. He has no more rights to it than he would have if he were an outsider.

Copyrighted matter is, technically speaking, merchandise; and the ownership of it is vested in the holder of the copyright, as much so as would be the proprietorship of a barrel of flour purchased by a customer.

All rights to a manuscript, the copyright of which is owned by its publisher, are the publisher's, subject only to the conditions of the contract between the publisher and the author.