Can someone make money from my quotes?

Discussion in 'Intellectual Property Law Forum' started by Shaun42, 18 September 2018.

  1. Shaun42

    Shaun42 Member

    18 September 2018
    Likes Received:
    Hi, I'm an author. There are many quotes floating around the internet that have come from me or my published books. These are usually no more than a sentence long.

    My question is, are other people allowed to make money from my quotes, given that I make absolutely nothing from them? I have seen my quotes appear in other books (of quote collections) for sale on Amazon. There are many social media sites using my quotes to promote their site. My words have also been paired with images that can be purchased to hang as pictures in people's homes. I have not been asked for permission for any of this and I make nothing from my words being used.

    I thought, because short phrases might not be considered substantial, anyone could use them so long as they credit me, but it just seems a little unfair people are making money from something I wrote when I'm struggling to feed my family.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. EAGLEGATE Lawyers

    LawTap Verified

    21 September 2018
    Likes Received:
    Hi Shaun

    That depends on a few things. Firstly whether copyright rights would apply to the work. Copyright rights don't apply to everything, sometimes quotes are too short for copyright to apply. Secondly, what component was taken etc (was it a substantial part of the literary work). You might also look at what representations were made when they used the quote. In that respect are they infringing your moral rights (generally the right of attribution) or are they acting in a manner that is misleading or deceptive?

    Without more context it is impossible to say what can be done about it.


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