Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Price of Quoting Winston Churchill

Unknown-7 The Churchill family has a long history of taking copyright law to the extreme to demand excessive payments for use of Churchill's quotes.  Despite the fact that biographer Barry Singer had a good relationship with Churchill's heirs, when he went to write a book on Churchill, the family declared that he couldn't incorporate quotations unless he paid.  The heirs' going rate is 50 cents per word. Singer cut back on what he quoted, but he still had to pay for 3,872 words he used that included direct quotations from Churchill.  Ultimately, he ended up getting a slight discount. The family charged him £950 for those words which came out to be 40 cents per word. 

See Mike Masnick, Churchill's Heirs Seek to Lose The Future By Charging Biographer To Quote His Words, techdirt, Jan. 22, 2013. 


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