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Is it OK legally and ethically and is there an official SE policy regarding quotations of copyrighted works.

I quoted one sentence from A Game Of Thrones here and it seems to me that by any standard one sentence is covered by fair use.

Is there a rule or at least a guideline about quotations? What can be quoted, how long can it be, etc.

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    See Jeff's answer to this question. That should cover your question, specifically the portion on Fair Use. – user1027 Mar 16 '12 at 18:12
  • @Keen: Thanks, I didn't see that one. Interesting how OP of that question had the same work as an example. – Goran Jovic Mar 16 '12 at 18:20

I think the policy that NOLO has is good. I've included the portions I believe most important points are the 3 included below. Read the whole article, however, it is quite good.

Subject to some general limitations discussed later in this article, the following types of uses are usually deemed fair uses:

  • Criticism and comment -- for example, quoting or excerpting a work in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment.
  • Research and scholarship -- for example, quoting a short passage in a scholarly, scientific, or technical work for illustration or clarification of the author's observations.
  • Nonprofit educational uses -- for example, photocopying of limited portions of written works by teachers for classroom use.

Also of importance is that we are not trying to distract from the original works. No one is going to not read a book because a 1 sentence quote was posted from it, because they feel like the book is complete. Posting a whole chapter, however, would probably not be wise.

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    And I must add, it's funny to be quoting an article about fair use using fair use... – PearsonArtPhoto Mar 16 '12 at 18:16

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