Epigraph vs quote in box

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teepeemckay
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Epigraph vs quote in box

Post by teepeemckay »

Hello,

I know that permission should always be sought for an in-copyright quotation being used as an epigraph at the start of a chapter etc.

However, does the same apply for a small quote in the main body of a book's text if it is placed in a box? If it wasn't boxed, I'd immediately designate it as fair dealing/usage, but is it being given extra prominence by it being placed in a box, and should it therefore be treated the same way as an epigraph?

Any help gratefully received!
Thanks!
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AndyJ
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Re: Epigraph vs quote in box

Post by AndyJ »

Hi teepee,

I don't think putting a quotation in a box or giving any other sort of prominence alters the fair dealing exception. The reason for quoting someone else's words is generally because they have said something profound or informative, and the reason we credit the author is to give the words both context and authenticity. Providing additional emphasis, for example by placing the quotation in a box, merely serves to enhance the value attributed to the piece which has been quoted; it doesn't detract from the original author's rights or exploit his/her work unfairly. Indeed, it may elevate the prestige of the author as someone who is noteworthy.
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teepeemckay
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Re: Epigraph vs quote in box

Post by teepeemckay »

Hi Andy,

Thanks for responding to my query. My understanding (and most publishers seem to agree) is that an epigraph would require permission due to its prominence, regardless of whether the word count falls under the fair dealing threshold. In the case of epigraphs which proceed book chapters (or entire books) permission is sought because its placement and use indicates that it had a profound influence on the work, or because it sets the tone for the ensuing work.

Are you therefore saying that a boxed quote in the main body of the text should not be regarded the same way? Obviously, if the text weren't in a box I wouldn't be having this discussion and would consider it fair dealing, but setting it apart from the main discussion in a text box gives me pause.

As ever, your thoughts on the matter are very much appreciated,
Tom
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AndyJ
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Re: Epigraph vs quote in box

Post by AndyJ »

Hi Tom,

I'm not sure how much reliance one can put on what publishers think is required. The law certainly doesn't consider prominence as a factor in deciding whether something is fair dealing or not. Equally, word count is also irrelevant (despite what I know some publishers like to maintain). What is important is that no more is quoted than is necessary for the second author's purposes, and that the overall purpose is 'fair'. An epigram presents something of a special case in that it is usually necessary to quote one in its entirety for it to be comprehensible, even though the words may comprise the totality of the original work being quoted, if it is a couplet or very short poem for instance.

Returning to the idea of text in a box, I really don't think this changes fair dealing situation. Bear in mind what the original author's rights are here. It is his or her right to authorise the making and distribution of a copy of his/her work. A quotation* does not undermine this fundamental right to monetise the author's work. Sales of a poet's anthology will not suddenly dry up just because a critic or academic quotes a line or two from a single poem. Indeed, rather like a Google snippet, the quotation may serve as an advert which will draw new readers to the author's work; for other readers it may be just a reminder of something they are already familiar with.

* The exception for the purpose of quotation has existed for around 130 years, first featuring as Article 8 of the original Berne Convention of 1886.
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Re: Epigraph vs quote in box

Post by AndyJ »

Tom, just a quick follow-up on my last posting, since I can see that this topic is important to you.

One of the problems we have with the general issue of quotation per se is that it is new (incorporated into UK law in 2014) and the boundaries of this specific topic have not been tested in the courts. Prior to the amendment brought about by The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/2356), the fair dealing exception for quotation was limited to being for the purposes of criticism or review. Obviously it is/was a stretch to say this could apply to the use of epigraphs or short quotations at the head of a paragraph of a separate work, often for decorative embellishment rather than because of any direct link between the work being quoted and the new work.

One of the things we don't know for certain is whether the new, more general 'quotation' exception is intended to be limited to literary works or if it extends to the complete range of works which are subject to copyright, namely musical, dramatic and artistic works, as well as films, performances and sound recordings. In the context of section 30 (1AZ) it would appear that it applies to the wider range of works. While this isn't relevant to your question, it does show how little we know about how the new exception will be interpreted by the courts. This is made more unclear by the fact that this exception was brought about in response to an EU Directive (Article 5(3) (a) and (d) of the so-called InfoSoc Directive) and as we leave the EU at the end of this year, the UK will no longer be bound by any caselaw which subsequently emanates from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). At the moment there is very little CJEU caselaw which directly relates to the subject of quotation. There was a case known as Pelham in which it was found that the quotation exception could not be applied to sound recordings in order to legitimise the practice of sampling (because the part 'quoted' was not identified in a separate manner which allowed the original artist to be credited correctly or at all). A second case known as Funke Medien confirmed that the exception did not permit an over-long quotation which was neither fair nor justified in the circumstances.These two cases particularly stand out as addressing the specific issue of quotation, but in many other cases which are less concerned with quotation, the CJEU is at pains to stress that the exercise of the Article 5 exceptions should not, generally speaking, damage the overall economic value of the work being copied.

All this is by way of background to my earlier remrks, in order to show you why I think that using boxes or other forms of emphasis is unlikely to have any impact on how the quotation exception is supposed to operate.
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teepeemckay
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Re: Epigraph vs quote in box

Post by teepeemckay »

Hi Andy,

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. Thanks so much for your thoughtful and insightful response. Your expertise is always appreciated!

Best wishes,
Tom
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