David, this is a fascinating question! Heeding Nancy's warning, I'm toying with paraphrasing some of Eliot's lines in my own poetry, but a bit of the original is needed to clarify the allusion. I'm wondering how many words in succession constitute a quotation. For example what if I write: "Let us go then two by two, double I and both of you" is that liable to the charge of copyright infringement?
 
The fine points of this law, especially when considered for possible international application, are maddening.
 
Diana

Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2008 14:15:53 -0400
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Copyright and TWL
To: [log in to unmask]

In a message dated 25/03/2008 16:35:26 GMT Standard Time, [log in to unmask] writes:
It may sound ok, but unfortunately I learned differently when we had even tiny quotes in the Cambridge book.  We had to remove them.  I still don't know how to address the problem, but one point here is that Eliot's work is not out of copyright.  It continues until long after the poet's death, not just the copyright date.  Hence the fact that no one can read Eliot's letters to Emily Hale, though they are long past any copyright date or the poet's death.  I thought it was 50 years, but I think the letters can not be seen until 2019 or 2020.  And even TWL--from 1922--is still not out of copyright.  It's held by the estate, i.e., Valerie, and charges for even slight quotations are very high.  It's ironic for a poet whose own work is a mass of lines from other texts.

Tracking down permissions is one of the long and tiresome tasks of editing.  I knew the number of years once but no longer remember for certain.

I'm sure Rick can give us the details on dates----Rick?

Nancy
Often only the actual quotations will be meaningful, but if  it can be otherwise, much is possible nevertheless. For example, and invoking mandatory TSE content, Peter Ackroyd masterfully circumvented the problem in his TSE biography and is quoted himself as saying having to accomplish that made him an expert in the art of precis and circumlocution ! 
 
 
Regards
 
David


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