To quote or not to quote

A friend sent a link to the latest Seasons Greetings by United Way:

You might notice a familiar quote which comes from these words of Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith:

The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light is these words: Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. He Who is the Day Star of Truth beareth Me witness! So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. The one true God, He Who knoweth all things, Himself testifieth to the truth of these words.
(Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 288)

At the Ruhi 3 study circle tonight we had an interesting discussion if it is more important to have the Author of this quote be recognized or whether the fact that the quotation’s beauty is being recognized is sufficient.  I personally think that regardless of whether the quote is in the public domain or not, it should be recognized as it is used in a commercial statement by a major organization. Then again, I am not a copyrights lawyer… I can only wonder if the marketing person at United Way knew that the quote was by Baha’u’llah and chose not to mention Him or they simply liked a quote they came across somehow and did not bother to investigate who is its Author.  Yet, nowadays it takes only a second to search on Google for a quote and find out where it came from.

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