PLS clear - a website to bookmark • Lynne Garner

Several years ago I was working on a story where I had a character reading aloud from a well-known book to an older relative. I wanted to include a few of the lines that were being read out. However I wasn't sure how much of it I could include, if any. I also had no idea how to get the permission I might need. So, when I rewrote it I still had my character reading aloud I just didn't include the words being read.      

How many of you have been in a similar position? Wanting to include a quote from someones else's book, feature, article etc. and not knowing how to get consent for that use. Thankfully there's now an easy way to gain the permission you require, PLS Clear.

Visit to quickly and easily request
permission for use of copyrighted material

PLSclear is designed and operated by the PLS (Publishers' Licensing Services) who collect revenue generated by people/companies paying to use a publishers copyright  (similar to the ALCS, who collect monies on behalf of an author every time their work is photocopied or used by someone anywhere in the world). 

For authors/writers seeking permission to use copyrighted material PLSclear is free to use. It allows you to secure the permission you need via an online account. It has a simple five step process, which allows an author/writer to search over 50 million titles. All you need is an online account and either the title of the book/magazine or the ISBN or ISSN. Once you've completed the online form the request is sent to the correct publisher and if your request is successful you can also pay any fee due via their service as well.   

I've not tried the service yet but I've bookmarked it just in case I write a similar scene. Perhaps it's a website you might want to bookmark as well.



Blatant plug time

Love a short story? Then check out my various collections of short stories (available as ebooks and paperback):

Fox of Moon Meadow Farm (ebook 99p/99¢ - 10 stories)

Hedgehog of Moon Meadow Farm (ebook 99p/99¢ - 10 stories)

Ten Tales of Brer Rabbit (ebook 99p/99¢ - 10 stories)

Ten Tales of Coyote  (ebook 99p/99¢ - 10 stories)

Anansi The Trickster Spider (ebook £1.49/$1.49 - 16 stories)


julia jones said…
There is the concept of fair use however. I wonder whether that woudl have covered you?
Umberto Tosi said…
Fair use covers a lot for author snippets, but having a character read longer passages might go beyond the common law constraints. Thanks for this reference to a source and solution of this common quote conundrum for us authors.
Lynne Garner said…
Julia - thanks for the link, didn't think of that at the time.

Umberto - my pleasure, hope it's of help. Yes, it'd difficult to know what is considered stealing copyright and what could be considered fair use. As an author I'm very aware of how much copyright is stolen and I don't want to do that to another author.

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