Quoting Official Sources and Using Snippets of Government or Company Forms

by Todd Rogers
(Sacramento, CA, USA)


I am writing a report currently that is a how to that references real world government agencies and benefits organizations that would, in a step by step manner, have me using actual government forms and such and explaining what they mean and how to fill them out.

Do I need to ask permission from the government agency or the company that created the form?

If I use examples without permission am I treading upon another company's or governmental (state or federal) intellectual property rights or other copyrights?

If permission is needed, how best do I get that permission?

Answer: Most likely, the government in question will own the copyright on its forms. I would certainly check with the department or ministry issuing the forms to get permission or to find out if the forms are in the public domain.

I would suspect they would let you reproduce them as it would be in the public interest to help you help people fill them out correctly. But don't take my word for it. Ask them. And get their answer in writing.

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions About Novel Writing.