What is an acceptable length for a quote from a book?

I’m not thinking of posting an entire chapter or anything, but it’s a book that’s been out of print for almost 10 years. What’s the policy on such things?

A couple of paragraphs is okay. A couple of pages is not. If it’s more than a couple of paragraphs, you should consider paraphrasing rather than quoting.

Not policy, but just as a matter of common sense from a quote addict: Even a page of a book will look like a very long quote and eat up a lot of space on the Boards. There have to be very few times when that much would ever be necessary to make your point.

And remember that being out of print does not change a book’s status as being in copyright.

From my personal experience, I’ve found that if three or four lines isn’t enough, a longer quote wouldn’t help, either. But this is just a stylistic consideration, not a legal one: The copyright laws are deliberately vague on this score.

Make the quote you want to make. Then preview it and see if it would be acceptable if someone else did it.

[ul]:eek: [sup]**Damn, I just gave some good advice I should use myself. **[/sup][/ul]

There’s two different ways of looking at this:

  • From the point of view of copyright, you can quote a small amount, as long as you give full attribution. What’s a “small amount”? Depends. But the READER and thus the Board Moderators will err on the side of caution – we don’t want our material being stolen elsewhere, and we’ll zealously protect other authors from having their material stolen here.

  • From the point of view of how much will a person read, you need to use good judgement. Most people just glance at a thread fairly quickly, and won’t read anything that’s too long. Brevity is the sole wit. It’s not that Polonius was wrong but that he went on so long.