Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Can I Use Quotes WIth Photobook?

Portrait of Anais Nin (1920)
I made a photograph book for my school project from my photographs and quotes From Martha Graham (1894-1991), Anais Nin (1903-1972) and Stephen Nachmanovitch (1950-present). Now I like to reproduce them and want to know what I shall do. Also, please let me know what are the options to reproduce a photo books for a reasonable price and find a distributer? Yes, you are fine to use all three quotes in conjunction with your photos. As we've discussed in other "quote" related questions, your rights are partially based on fair use, partially based on the fact that copyright doesn't protect short phrases, and partially based on the fact that some quotes are so short as to qualify as being "trivial" or "de minimis" uses.
Reproduction and distribution. We couldn't tell you who to use or your options for making photo books (that's what Google is for) but we know there are lots of companies like shutterfly, lulu, and snapfish that produce those kinds of things.
Making Postcards or Posters? We're not sure what other types of reproduction you have in mind but if you intend to break out an image and quote for purposes of a poster or a postcard, a living person such as Stephen Nachmanovitch (or in some states, the estate of a dead person), may object under right of publicity laws. To successfully make such a claim, he would need to demonstrate that you were exploiting his personna. We think that's a longshot (or as a meteorologist might put it, "less than 10 per cent chance of rain") but we're lawyers and have to consider all possibilities.

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