Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wants to Use Twin Peaks Quote

Dear Rich: We are a small publishing company and are about to publish a novel in which the author includes one brief quote from David Lynch's "Twin Peaks". The entirety of the quote is: “Have you ever experienced absolute loss? It’s deep down inside. Every cell screams. You can hear nothing else.” If we cite the quote (either in text or in the copyright page) will this be sufficient, or do we have to request permission for its use? We are having a difficult time establishing who owns the rights to the show. Alas, in the years since Laura Palmer has disappeared, the Twin Peaks name has been usurped by a depressing chain of breastaurants, making Internet research on this subject annoying and potentially troublesome (based on the keylogging trail we're leaving behind at work).
Fair use? Your proposed use seems like a fair use (for which permission is not required). The amount taken is small and it is being used a for a purpose not intended by the copyright owners (a transformative use).
Just in case dept. If you're not comfortable claiming fair use and you'd rather get permission, we think the owner of rights is Twin Peaks Productions, Inc. (formerly Lynch/Frost Productions). According to California corporations records, the company can be contacted either care of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller and Hoberman, 450 N. Roxbury Drive, 8th Flr., Beverly Hills, CA, 90210, or via Fred Altman, 9255 Sunset Blvd. #901, Los Angeles, CA, 90069. You can also review the history of copyright transfers for Twin Peaks by searching Copyright Office records -- search for "Twin Peaks" here.
BTW Dept. Twin Peaks Productions, Inc. chased an infringer in a 1993 fair use case.