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41659Re: [hockhist] Re: Question to Authors

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  • Dr John Serrati
    Nov 3, 2003
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      At 17:47 02/11/2003 -0500, you wrote:
      >John Serrati wrote:
      >"To the best of my knowledge, Canadian & American law states that you may
      >quote up to 10 percent of another person's work without having to seek
      >permission from them or their publisher."
      >That's a widespread misconception. Usually, people labour under the false
      >impression that there's an acceptable word limit, like 50 or 75 words.
      >However, there is no such provision in statute law on either side of the

      You are correct here, what I quoted was in fact the international copyright
      law that governs the copying of material for educational instruction, not
      for publication. My mistake.

      >Therefore, it remains whatever a given judge in a given court thinks it is.
      >Invoking my fair use/fair dealing privileges,

      At the end of the day this is true. The laws of most countries are
      incredibly ambiguous & rarely define exactly what constitutes Fair Use or
      Fair Dealing. Thus it is up to the courts. Most countries do however, not
      only recognise the 75 year rule set out by the Universal Copyright
      Convention in 1996, but their judges will also take into consideration the
      rules for quoting agreed upon by the Society of Authors & the Publishers
      Association (however, taking these into consideration does not mean that
      they have to abide by them). These state:

      From a copyright prose work, seek permission for any extract longer than
      400 words; for a series of extracts totalling more than 800 words, of which
      any one extract has more than 300 words; & for an extract or series of
      extracts constituting one-quarter or more of the original work.

      It goes on to say that for any illustration, be it a photograph, drawing,
      chart, or table, always seek permission.

      I would think that you'd be on solid ground if you followed these rules as
      they are internationally recognised. Basically, following them means that,
      more often than not, it would be a huge waste of time & effort for a
      publisher or author to sue you, & if they won, they wouldn't get much.

      >I'll quote from the 15th (and
      >latest) edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, aka the Bible of Publishing.

      Not necessarily for every subject. The Chicago Manual of Style is the
      Bible only for general use & in the social sciences. Other sciences as
      well as the humanities follow either The Oxford Manual of Style or The
      Modern Language Association Manual of Style. Many publishers are now in
      fact using a hybrid of the latter two.

      >Section 4.76, subtitled "Validity of 'rules of thumb'," reads: "some
      >publishers have their own rules of thumb. Such rules, of course, have no
      >validity outside the publishing house: COURTS, not publishers, adjudicate
      >fair use." [Emphasis mine.]

      Yes. Although doesn't Canadian law state that you must you the minimum
      necessary to get your point across?


      Dr John Serrati
      School of Classics and Ancient History
      The Queen's University of Belfast
      BT7 1NN

      (44) (0)(28)90 273421
      (44) (0)7966 298212

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