Austin, United States

I have spent most of my career as a French professor and a research librarian, and have been reinventing myself as a writer. I’m...

About Copyright Restrictions and Reference Work

According to the “Chicago Manual of Style”, at least the last time I looked at it, you are allowed to use two running lines from a work if you are giving a review of it. You are allowed to describe the book in general terms. So none of these things are illegal or unethical. A verse from a poem is usually one sentence, and one or two lines of text, though it may be positioned differently for effect. I do my best to stay within those parameters, but if I have erred somewhere in my blogs here, please let me know and I will correct the error. It is not my wish to steal anyone’s work. I probably sometimes get over-zealous, but I’m also probably unaware of it. It’s a sad truth that at times I can be the absent minded professor type. So my apologies to anyone I may have offended by quoting something from your work which you did not wish to get OUT of your book. Strange, but true…. heh, heh. My twisted sense of humor.

I worked on something I wanted to publish. In fact, I’ve worked on it for years, partly because of harassment I’ve had to put up with for a long time, and partly because I’ve been unsure how to use the material I’ve collected. I have not published it because I do not want to misuse the work of others. I think I’ve finally hit upon a solution, but it will take me some time to get it all together. That said, I was told by a publisher that sometimes if you can’t pay for quotes, the lender will allow you to use the material for free. I’m as poor as a church mouse, so I would have to be able to use it for free. That said, I do not want to offend, so I will probably not use it. It’s the fact that I’ve never published anything like this before, so I’ve been struggling with the concepts and what I can and cannot use. That’s why it is not yet published. I hope no soul with good intentions has used it and put it out there. If they have, I’m sorry you didn’t realize this. I’ve tried to make it known that publishing it like it is would be a liability, but I guess whoever may have…um…decided to assist me…may not realize this. So please forgive us all if this has occurred. The only reason I took on the project in the first place is that whenever I talked to anyone about these things, they were very moved by it and wanted to know if I had written a book on it. Though I recommended the original writers, they told me I should write a book. I got this comment so often that I decided to give it a try. That is a work in progress. It may never see the light of day, but who knows?

Now, the next point I want to make is that the reason I DO mention books and sometimes use quotes from the book is that I am hoping some of my readers will want to read the book. I’m hoping to give it an audience among my readers, and who knows? It might even boost your sales. I’m not trying to be sensational. I like to give people useful information that will help them in their lives, or entertain them joyfully. I spent many years as a reference librarian, and it’s my favorite kind of work. I love helping people. If I’ve turned into an “information bully”, I’m very sorry. That was never my intention! The way I look at it, you can either take it or leave it, only reading what interests you. I don’t take any kind of offense if you aren’t interested. I guess it’s a way for me to continue my “reference service” online! HAH! I hadn’t thought about that before, but it’s probably true. I don’t feel too bad though. I have friends who are professors, and they continue their teaching online, on FB, and I’m enjoying it immensely. It’s like being back in grad school with all the wonderful discussions we used to have and all that I learned from them BACK THEN! They’re wonderful people, and I’m so happy to reconnect with them!

As for my love of languages, that has been with me my entire life. From the time I was a wee lass, I loved hearing about and seeing peoples of different cultures and beliefs. I was always intrigued by these kinds of things. As for foreign languages, that has been the absolute love of my life. You learn so much when you learn someone else’s language. That’s because language is a form of enculturation. The culture of the people is in some way built into the language. I could spend my entire life just learning languages and speaking to foreign people. Don’t get me wrong. I love my own country very much and Americans. So when you see me practicing my languages, it’s so that I can become a better speaker, or so that I don’t forget what I once learned. It’s also because I know many foreigners love speaking in their own tongue. It’s a great exchange – I get the joy of practicing and they enjoy watching an American struggle with their language! HAH! A day or two ago, I spoke to a French woman who speaks about 6 languages! As she said, it’s easier to learn them in Europe. And that’s true. She was really fun for me to talk to! I’m not trying to be arrogant or anything like that. I’m just enjoying myself and doing my best to stay current in what I’ve studied for many years.

And now that China is becoming more of a world player, I’d love to indulge in my longstanding desire to learn Chinese…. I also recommend this to those who are students today. The future is China. So if you want to do business, you should learn Chinese. Yes, there are many dialects, but I think Mandarin is the standard one most people learn. I’ve dabbled in it some, and spent an entire summer trying to learn a few chapters in a book I had bought. It was a delight until I found that no Chinese student understood me! HAHAHA! So I hope you see there is no arrogance in it, just a keen desire to learn of other people and their culture and language. It’s so fascinating.

Meanwhile, I do my best to be practical. There are other things that need my attention, as for most of us.

But I’m not trying to steal from anyone. Some things are universal in a way, and are meant to be shared. When the Mother of Our Lord appears somewhere, it is big news, and everyone wants to know what is going on. Many books will be written about it, and everyone reads, but I can tell you that everyone talks about it also. They will say, “She said, pray every day…”, and so forth. Even if it’s been written in a book, that message is not limited to the book. I don’t know anyone who is asked about an apparition who says, “Oh, I can’t tell you that. You have to read the book. I don’t want to violate copyright.” HUNH? Did the Blessed Mother give you absolute copyright to her words? I don’t think so. She meant for the messages to be spread far and wide. And why is that? For the salvation of souls. Often to warn people about something that may be a threat to life on earth soon, or may be a disaster soon, if people do not turn back to God. Are we going to wait for someone to write a book and claim her words as a matter of copyright for any of this to be spread or to take effect? HECK NO! The word needs to get out, so we spread the word as fast as we can to everyone we can. That will make the difference between life and death, between salvation or damnation. Now, if something is the OPINION OF THE AUTHOR, and his analysis of the situation, he can claim the right to those words, for sure. I don’t know of any case wherein the BVM has told anyone, “Only John Doe has the copyright to my words.” If only John Doe had the copyright, none of us would hear about it, eh? :))) We’re going to have to start giving the Blessed Mother her own copyright, eh? So that her words may be used without hindrance. But anyway, I do my best to obey the protocols of writing about an event.

I have to say I’ve been amazed at an uproar someone seems to have raised over my using quotes in my blog. It’s amazing. I guess I’ll have to go back and erase some things, but it’s a long list…. Probably no one reads it anyway except for the authors of those books! HAH! I don’t think my blog has that wide of an audience….

Whatever the case may be, if I have violated your sense of copyright, please send me a message on RB or FB if you know me, and point out the quote and the blog title, and I wlll be happy to either delete the blog or amend it. Sorry if I’ve offended anyone. And may God bless us all!

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