Cancer support quotes are copyrighted if they are original forms of creative expression in a physical medium and they do not have a disclaimer dedicating them to the public domain, reports Nolo. If the quotes are created during a person's official capacity as a government employee, they are not copyrighted.
Copyright protects all forms of original written expression such as novels, poetry, plays, essays and diaries, according to the U.S. Copyright Office. Although copyright law does not protect facts and ideas, it protects how they are expressed. A work does not need to have artistic merit, and it can be similar to work that already exists, but it must be original to merit copyright protection, states Nolo. The work does not require a copyright notice or publication, but it is protected as soon as its creator puts it in a tangible form, which can include on paper or in a device such as a computer.
Although forms of written expression such as cancer support quotes may be copyrighted, under certain circumstances individuals may copy portions under the doctrine of fair use, reports the U.S. Copyright Office. This allows the reproduction of copyrighted works for nonprofit educational purposes, criticism, commentary, news reportage, and research and scholarship. Other criteria used in the evaluation of fair use are the amount of the portion used and the possible effect of use on the copyrighted work's value.