Author Topic: New Member - Question about quoted materials  (Read 1187 times)

Offline Mascutt

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New Member - Question about quoted materials
« on: August 25, 2018, 11:37:49 AM »
Hello everyone,

I just joined and, like probably everyone else, I am writing.  I have been working on my novel, physically writing it for three years, researching for 35 years.  My work is done and currently in the hands of my editor.  But a question came up which I realized I didnít have the answer to.  And I havenít had much luck in finding the answer online.  So thought Iíd try here.

My novel is about the women of Ancient Rome.  Quite specifically, the four women who were thrust onto the world stage as the result of the murder of Germanicus.  It is historical fiction - which means itís my take on it - while attempting to be as faithful as possible to the actual history and timelines.  Since this was a subject the whole empire was involved in, much like when JFK was assassinated - there are many sources from the ancient historians as to what was said - especially during the trial of his murder suspects.

My question is, if anyone knows the answer, are these words allowed to be placed in the mouth of my characters if the historians from two thousand years ago said they were spoken?  Or does even ancient history belong to someone in the form of copyright?

Does anyone know the answer to this?  Any insight someone might be able to give me would be so appreciated.

Thank you

J TETSTONE

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Re: New Member - Question about quoted materials
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2018, 12:18:16 PM »
I hope this helps you find the answer to your question.   Have a good day.  jt

This is what I found when I researched the subject of what is and what is not copyrighted: [This is in the US.]

According to US copyright law, after a speaker dies the quote is no longer "owned" by the author and it has passed into what's known as the public domain, meaning it can be freely used by anyone for any purpose. When a quote passes into the public domain, it's almost always because it's old enough that its copyright has expired. (It doesn't have anything to do with whether the author is dead or alive.) Anything written before 1923 is in public domain.

This is a link that may be helpful:

https://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/public-domain/welcome/


Offline Mascutt

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Re: New Member - Question about quoted materials
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2018, 12:38:18 PM »
Awesome!  Thank you!

J TETSTONE

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Re: New Member - Question about quoted materials
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2018, 12:55:35 PM »
You are welcome.  Good luck with your writing.    jt

Offline Mark T

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Re: New Member - Question about quoted materials
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2018, 02:32:26 PM »
I'm sure you would be fine on stuff said 2000 years ago - I can almost guarantee there will be no consensus among the historians...

Offline Mascutt

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Re: New Member - Question about quoted materials
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2018, 02:19:40 PM »
The problem is that there is a consensus.  The Senatus Consultum de Cn Pisonis Patre was posted in every military camp across the Empire with a direct quotation of the results of the trial.  sort of like a news bulletin.  Now whether itís propaganda or not, is another subject...but itís still the words that were spoken during the trial.  One of these has only recently been unearthed and my main concern was, does the copyright for it belong to whoever translated it to English?  or is it still part of the public domain?

Offline Mark T

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Re: New Member - Question about quoted materials
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2018, 03:57:41 PM »

I stand corrected on the consensus. I'm no expert but my understanding is that copyright is vested in an author or his estate. To your knowledge, is such a scenario applicable or even possible in your situation? It doesn't sound as if there was a single author either.

JanTetstone

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Re: New Member - Question about quoted materials
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2018, 11:25:11 AM »
Maybe this will help....               jt


Are translations of public domain works copyrighted?

If a work is in the public domain, you are free to translate it without asking permission. Under current U.S. law, works published before 1923 are in the public domain regardless of their country of origin. ... In other words, any foreign work that has been published since 1923 is most likely protected by copyright.

What you should know about translation and copyright law:
https://bookwormtranslations.com/copyright-law-and-translation-what-you-need-to-know/

The SoA is the UK trade union for more than 10,000 writers, illustrators and literary translators, at all stages of their careers. We've been advising individuals and speaking out for the profession since 1884.
https://www.societyofauthors.org/