Quoting reviews - permission needed, or not?

I’m setting up a website to house my interactive fiction (among other things). Along with the various games, I’d like to include some quotes from various reviews that I’ve received over the years. The thing is, I’m not totally sure of the etiquette.

As a general rule, should I ask for permission from reviewers before quoting them? Or is it enough to provide a link back to the original post?

This should absolutely be a fair use thing. (Linking to the review in question is above-and-beyond, although I’d strongly recommend it.) If someone can legitimately quote extracts from your game in their review, you can certainly quote extracts from their review in talking about your game. I don’t think permission is all that relevant.

I don’t think you need to worry, especially in the IF community. That’s assuming that the reviews you refer to are available to the public and not just emailed to you, which is a different fish-kettle entirely.

This lawyer’s opinion is probably worth a read: http://paulsamael.com/blog/do-you-need-permission-to-quote-from-reviews-

The relevant part:

[spoiler]Copyright is an issue here because a review is someone else’s copyright work. It may not be as stunningly creative as your novel but the threshold of originality for copyright to apply is very low – even something as dull and uncreative as this blog post is likely to qualify for copyright protection. In quoting from a review, you may be infringing copyright – you are, after all, copying out words that “belong” to someone else. However, there are two lines of defence which may assist you if faced with an accusation of copyright infringement over a review quote:

First, to infringe copyright, you must be quoting a substantial part of the work. “Brilliant !” could, in theory, be a substantial part if it amounts to the essence of the review - or if the review is extremely short. But quite often, that won’t be the case, so this first line of defence – that you didn’t quote enough of the review to infringe copyright – will often be worth a try.

Second, at least so far as UK copyright is concerned, you may have a defence to infringement under section 30 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, which says this:

“Fair dealing with a work for the purpose of criticism or review, of that or another work or of a performance of a work, does not infringe any copyright in the work provided that it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement and provided that the work has been made available to the public.”

Now you might say, surely this section is not intended to allow authors like me to quote from reviews – it must be primarily intended to ensure that reviewers can quote short excerpts from my work without fear of me suing them for copyright infringement (because I didn’t like the review and I am a vengeful and vindictive so-and-so)? Well, that may be so, but if I quote a snippet from someone’s review of my work, my aim is to convey to other potential readers what someone else thought of my writing; I am therefore using the snippet “for the purpose of criticism or review”. It is true that the criticism or review relates to my work, not the work of the reviewer (I am not, of course, reviewing the reviewer’s review). But the section specifically allows for the possibility that the “criticism or review” relates to “another work”, not the actual work being quoted.[/spoiler]

Thank you both!