In a message dated 26/03/2008 13:47:35 GMT Standard Time, [log in to unmask] writes:
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
Diana
 
Mentioned here as regards US law:
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parody
 
In English copyright law there seems to be  precedent that ' a parody which is in itself original having its origin in the work parodied was held not to infringe the copyright in the work': Joy Music Ltd v Sunday Pictorial Newspaper (1920) Ltd  - a 1960 case.
 
 
Regards
 
David