Permission to Reprint

This is obtaining legal permission to use material copyrighted by someone else. In The Chicago Manual of Style (sixteenth edition) figure 4.3 on page 195, you’ll find a letter requesting permission to reprint copyrighted material. If you don’t have access to it, here’s the gist of it: Start with who you’re writing to and the date. Quote what you wish to reprint. Place author, publication, and date of your publication where the quoted material appears. State that you want nonexclusive … Read More »

The Mystery of Joint Copyrights

posted in: Writing & the Law | 2

Co-writing with a friend, relative or colleague can be a wonderful experience. Remember, though, that when you intend to create a joint work by blending your individual contributions (such as a novel or memoir) and you do actually create it, you have entered the Twilight Zone of joint copyright ownership. If the other person loses interest after contributing only for awhile and you finish the work, the two of you still jointly own the entire copyright. If the other person … Read More »

Not So Elementary, My Dear Writer!

posted in: Writing & the Law | 0

“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact” – Sherlock Holmes, “The Boscombe Valley Mystery” Most writers know that they may use works in the public domain without asking copyright permission or paying a licensing fee. Sorting out copyright expiration dates can be a tricky proposition, so wise writers consult the excellent (and free) brochure about public domain published on the U.S. Copyright Office’s website at copyright. (PDF Download) But what happens when the time span of a fictional … Read More »