A copyright is legal protection of creative, original work. For example a book is copyrighted and usually owned by the author but sometimes the publisher. A copyright allows the owner to control how the work will be produced, distributed, and/or presented to the public.
If you need to use a quote or some other form of a book or copyrighted material you will need to seek permission from the owner of the copyright. Use this document to ask an author's or publisher's (or other owner of a copyright) permission to reprint, quote from or otherwise distribute or publish copyrighted material. The request should be sent with a self-addressed return envelope to the permissions department of the publisher in question.
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