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Amending quote in print - permission required?

Posted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:56 pm
by teepeemckay
 Hi all,

If a UK author was creating an English language teaching book and wanted to use short quotes from famous people, but wanted to edit the quotes slightly to reflect a more basic level of English (simplifying words etc.) would we need to seek permission from the people in question, or could the author just include a disclaimer stating that the quotes had been amended from the original?

Any help appreciated!

Re: Amending quote in print - permission required?

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:40 am
by AndyJ
Hi TP,

That's an interesting question. From a copyright point of view I don't think it matters so long as the original author of the quote is acknowledged. Misquotation is so prevalent that it qualifies for an entry in Wikipedia.
Assuming that you wanted to quote and amend a fairly long passage (ie more than a dozen words or so) then the only problem you might run into is that of infringing the author's moral rights, firstly by treating his or her work in a derogatory manner, or secondly, by falsely attributting to them something which they did not author. However, neither of these is likely to arise if you have explained why you have chosen to amend the words.

Re: Amending quote in print - permission required?

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:43 am
by teepeemckay
Hi Andy,

Thank you - this was my suspicion but it's good to have it confirmed. As ever, your help is very much appreciated.

Best wishes,
T