Thursday, May 22, 2014
Can I Use Poems in My Divorce Book?
- Finding the author. Start by writing to the website that reproduced the poem to determine the author and title. You can typically find a way to contact the site by clicking the "Contact Us" button or writing to "info@[domain name]. If that doesn't work search whois.net for the owner of the site. If you can't get a contact, or if your contact isn't responding, we'd suggest placing a large chunk of the poem's text into Google (or whatever search enging you're using). That may turn up alternate sightings that will give you the author and/or title. Once you have that, you should be able to track the poem to find the source for permission.
- Copyright. Copyright law requires permission unless: (1) the work is in the public domain; or (2) you are using so little of the poem -- for example, one or two lines -- that it qualifies as a fair use. Practically, you are probably not going to need permission unless a publisher expresses interest. If your book is self-published, it's unlikely the poet will learn of your reproduction..