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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

    
Copying a Part of a News or Article
Gian04

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 2:35 am on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Copyright question:

Is it fine to copy a part of a news or Article (let say the first paragraph) and just provide a link to the source for the user to read the whole news / article?

 

rogerd

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 3:08 am on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

What you are talking about falls under the "fair use" provision of US copyright law. Fair use is a bit vague, but generally a short snippet of an article, particularly if used as part of a review, other commentary, etc., is OK. Note that this isn't legal advice, and that a copyright holder can take you to court even if your usage seems to be legal. You may win eventually, but the cost of defending yourself may be prohibitive.

reprint

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 3:13 am on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you want to steer clear of this problem, write a short teaser and headline and add the link. Many social tagging/bookmarking sites do this.

Having said that most sites wont mind if you use 1 or two sentences from the article and link to them.

Gian04

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 3:39 am on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'll copy the article / news NOT for the purpose of review but because it is related to the topic of my website.

jtara

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 4:04 am on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'll copy the article / news NOT for the purpose of review but because it is related to the topic of my website

Unlikely to be permitted under fair use. (But might be OK in some educational contexts.) But seek advice from an attorney who is throughly familiar with the copyright laws of your country.

Not sure why so many people come here for this advice. I would think the place to start is with the copyright authorithy in your country (in the U.S. uspto.gov) and then your attorney.

RandomDot

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 4:48 am on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Write an article about the news story, and link appropriately to the source of information in the end and you should stay on the bright side of things. That's my general advice.

But don't know for sure how American copyright laws work though, so wouldn't be able to tell you if you can quote parts of the news or article in a context, look it up or consult an attorney as mentioned by other people in this thread.

Gian04

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 5:54 am on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not sure why so many people come here for this advice. I would think the place to start is with the copyright authorithy in your country (in the U.S. uspto.gov) and then your attorney.

Then just tell the owner of this website to just remove the Copyright Forum part of this website.

seek advice from an attorney who is throughly familiar with the copyright laws of your country.

What if its a foreign website?

[edited by: Gian04 at 5:57 am (utc) on Sep. 27, 2007]

jtara

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 4:02 pm on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not sure why so many people come here for this advice.

Then just tell the owner of this website to just remove the Copyright Forum part of this website.

LOL! Mea culpa.

seek advice from an attorney who is throughly familiar with the copyright laws of your country.

What if its a foreign website?

Only the laws of your country (or that of your website) apply. If your country has signed an international copyright convention, or has agreements with specific countries, that will be referenced by the laws of your country.

What is important to you is what law applies to citizens and businesses of your country.

It certainly is a complex matter, and that's one reason why you need to consult an attorney. Any copyright attorney will have to deal with International issues. I suppose I should have said "an attorney specializing in copyright law."

Syzygy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 4:48 pm on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Let me just echo what rogerd said earlier. Likely your use of any snippets taken from other news sources would be construed as "Fair Use".

But, "Fair Use" is very much a grey area and invariably it depends on the circumstances of the intended use of those snippets that may be the deciding factor in any claim for copyright infringement.

So, on the one hand, in general terms you should be ok. But on the other, who's to say that some organisation won't feel that you're infringing upon it's copyrights to such a degree that it feels warranted in issuing legal threats.

Before you "consult an attorney", why not do a little digging around online: there are many substantial resources out there devoted to the issues of copyright that will probably prove very useful to you. Here's one of the best:

Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Center [fairuse.stanford.edu]

Syzygy

Usual disclaimer: I am not qualified legal counsel. Using the internet as a legal resource is, although common sensical, not a fair substitute for engaging an expensive solicitor/attorney.

hugger38

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 7:03 pm on Sep 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

I would just do a good rewrite. I rewrite news feeds for sites. Dupe content is not good online. Best to go unique.

RandomDot

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 6:01 pm on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Another option I just thought of which is obvious is: Wait for the news to be old, a week or so - then write the publisher of the news and ask for permission to use the "snippet" (include it in the mail - exactly what you are going to use) - and tell that you will link back to the resource on your private website which relates to the topic at hand -

They'd usually let you do it - if for no other reasons - then for PR...

Syzygy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 6:41 pm on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hmm, nice idea, but the chance of you getting a reply back from an organisation the size of, say, the BBC, is probably nil.

Anyway, from a non-legal perspective, I see no point in doing this, especially if you're only using a "snippet" (headline & standfirst) as "Fair Use" really is the name of the game.

I think that the frequency with which one uses "snippets" from a particular source/supply would be a factor in determining whether you'd annoy an organisation enough that they'd want to do something about it.

As a former editor at a publishing company, one of my daily tasks was to source news items for use on our sites. Not once have I had an organisation object to our usage of their news stories. (That's not to say that every organisation is the same, and that news sources are unlikely to ever complain about usage of their stories in the means described).

Syzygy

RandomDot

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 7:02 pm on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes, of course - the larger the organization, the less chance of a reply - so adapt to it, make it short, to the point and just ask for a "yes" or a "no" - nothing else, it won't annoy the hell out of them to read your sixteen page essay about all the why's, how's, and so..

- but it would be the safest way to go and not assume anything in any way about anything. Ask, and thou shalt be given.

Example:

Hello BBC,
I would like to use a small excerpt of one of your news stories on my own website www.example.com which relates to the topic of the article in question. I would like to use this snippet:

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat, sed diam voluptua. At vero eos et accusam et justo duo dolores et ea rebum. Stet clita kasd gubergren, no sea takimata sanctus est Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet."

With a link back to the original article so people could read it in full. Would you allow me to use the above snippet in the manner I just described? A simple yes or no will do. Thank you for your time,
Sincerely,
"Insert Your Name Here"

[edited by: RandomDot at 7:03 pm (utc) on Sep. 30, 2007]

hugger38

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 8:05 am on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Guys, You could around all this hassle with re written news feeds. This is so cheap and your corpyright then. You get over dupe content and you also have something that other people may want to link to without all the trouble that goes with snippets. QS becomes great everyones a winner. I cant see the BBC being very friendly about using snippets from their content.

RandomDot

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 10:25 am on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

With regards to the BBC - wouldn't know - never tried it with them - can work sometimes with some publishers though if you really want that snippet and throw that link to them - (which has its benefits, both with regards to users and seo) - if it's urgent, then just make a nice headline and link with that directly - without using a snippet...

Eventhough rewriting the "ideas" of the article in question is always the easy way to get around it - support it, always ;)

John_Blake

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 12:27 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is it fine to copy a part of a news or Article

certainly not! It would be fine though if you summarize that part of the article with your own words and link back to the source

Quadrille

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 1:17 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

A little snippet would be seen by most owners as fair use - that means a sentence or two, with full attribution and a proper link, not just 'more' linked to their site.

Fair use means just that - 'fair' - anything less than full attribution (probably a link to the article title), is hardly fair to the copyright owner.

And ripping off substantial amounts of text without paying a fee (or at least getting permission!), isn't fair, either.

Leva

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 4:51 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Speaking as someone who runs a news/entertainment site, I:

1) Welcome people who copy a short section of an article, blog about it, post their reactions, and link back to the site. This is perfectly acceptable, reasonable, and in the US, legal. I don't even care if you link to your reaction in the comments section on my site's articles. Even if you disagree with us.

2) I grit my teeth and ignore most sites that copy a bigger chunk of text, don't post a reaction or comments beyond, "Look what I found!" and post a link back. Basically, I see this as being very lazy. It's a legal grey area. It may or may not be fair use, if they have ANY reaction or comments of their own, and are not stealing the entire article. But it's LAZY. Me, and my writers, spend hundreds of hours a week on the site -- it's beyond a full time job for me. We create quite a bit of original content. We go back to the original sources. We contact experts, industry pros, interview people, and do the news right. And then some dweeb can grab half an article, slap it on their site with Adsense, and say, "Look what I found."

It particularly galls when it's a bigger site than we are that is doing it.

But it's probably not illegal, so I grit my teeth and ignore it. However, I'm not likely to ever link to a site that does this.

And it is a link ...

3) I get downright hostile with sites that copy articles in their entirety, with or without link. This is rude and illegal. I warn, once, with a polite form letter explaining the law and what is and is not allowed, then go straight to DMCA actions.

-- Leva

RandomDot

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 6:50 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Alot of things are a grey area.. and then you should look at the context of how it is used ... for instance a website which does little more than copy/paste snippets and bits without doing much else while having a commercial interest in doing so (advertising for instance) .. would be out of line in my little head. A website which did in a relevant context - if its criticism, or praise, would be within it. But that's very opinionated and not legislation... too many and specific laws stagnate everything, too little laws will make abusive behavior too apparent and nobody would bother doing anything in the end.. *note to self, theory, never proven.

Perhaps just declare the internet hostile territory without any legislation, then see what anarchism would become - could be a fun little experiment -

FattyB

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 12:33 am on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I agree with Leva, a short - one or two sentence - quote with a link is usually fine by me. But anything longer and not happy. Usually contact site, then ISP, then lawyer to ISP.

I am currently taking action against a Bulgarian business site that copies every business article we run each day. They are a Google News source site as well so even easier for us to track. I can actually almost watch them appear after we publish.

I would say if in doubt then don't do it and write a your own summary instead with a link. Why be lazy.

mantony

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3462179 posted 8:38 pm on Oct 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

I recently had a blog yanked from Google search engine. Not exactly sure why, only that a few posts were in fact text from other sites with links to the full article. I reduced the amount of text from the orignal source, left the link, linked the title and resubmitted to Google for reconsideration.

Honest mistep. We'll see what happens.

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