Friday, March 11, 2011

Fair Use Fridays: Epigraphs, Fair Use and Poetry

The lady doth protest too much, methinks ... (Hamlet's remarried mother telling Hamlet she doesn't like his play about a lady saying she will never remarry...)  William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene 2.

Below is an excerpt on how to cite such introductions to a blog post, a book, a chapter, etc. consistent with the Center for Social Media's Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry.

DESCRIPTION: The use of quotations from poems to introduce chapters or sections of other works is a time-honored literary practice. Generally speaking, these quotations are selected for the connection to the text in question, although occasionally they may be introduced for merely frivolous or decorative purposes. Members of the poetry community generally found this practice to be non-controversial.

PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, an author may use brief quotations of poetry to introduce chapters and sections of a prose work or long poem, so long as there is an articulable relationship between the quotation and the content of the section in question.

■Quoted passages should be reproduced as accurately as possible to reflect the poet’s underlying creative choices, except to the extent that modification is specifically justified by the purpose of the use.
■Authors should provide conventional attribution to sources unless the original is readily recognizable by the intended audience or the absence of proper attribution is justified by the purpose of the use.
■An author employing multiple epigraphs should draw from multiple sources unless there is specific justification for limiting quotations to one or a few sources.

 Purchase Copyright Litigation Handbook 2010 by Raymond J. Dowd from West here  

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