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Putting news on my website
Can news be just copied and put on a website

 11:49 pm on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

I will be launching several websites in the near future,( I'm still learning from all the great help here on Webmaster, and some advice was to hold off launching my website intil I learn more) and one one them is a going to have news and information on certain health issues. When I search the web and find current news on my subject can I copy and paste in into my website if it doesn't say something like " No part of this can be duplicated, reprinted, published da da da da."



 11:53 pm on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)



 1:18 am on Feb 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sunlight... You probably need to consider RSS feeds to serve news topics on your website.


 6:27 am on Feb 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

RSS feeds should be good idea.


 11:40 am on Feb 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a question.

What if i was to take a news article and completely re-write it in my own words.

Would this a) be legal b) Still require a link to the source?

If i completely re-write an article then it is my interpretation of those events, so I dont see how the original source could have any rights, but I may be wrong.


 1:07 pm on Feb 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a website that is focused on the current news in a particular industry. I find topics in the news, rewrite some information, blockquote some direct quotes, add my own information and opinions, and then I have a Sources or Resources section after my post with the list of news articles I used, complete with URL, news title, and the name of the news source or newspaper.

You have to give credit to your source. Anything else is plagarism, not to mention unethical, and dishonest. If you completely re-write an article, you are still using all the information someone else dug up and compiled, and you are passing it off as your own. Not cool.


 1:26 pm on Feb 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Actually lots of news information is deliberately handed to the media by way of press releases.

As long as you take a "story" from a press release and word it in your own way that's fine - that's what Press Releases are for - getting information out to distributors.

Bear in mind the "added value" of your news story needs to be your take on it - and that's more than just bare facts.

Google News (and Google Alerts) are a great source of press raw material.



 4:21 pm on Feb 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you're interested in news from a specific commercial area - medical equipment manufacturers, for example - you can often get on a mailing list for press releases. RSS feeds could also be a good idea.

But remember that most news stories are not press releases, unless you're writing from strictly a business POV, which could be done with health issues but may not be what you have in mind. And a story can definitely be copyrighted without having a "do not copy" notice on it.

As far as rewriting things in your own words, research as opposed to plagiarism, etc., a rule of thumb is to imagine handing the piece in to one of your old high school teachers as your own work and seeing if you'd feel comfortable with it. Elvie's given some good ideas on how to do that, so I won't repeat them.


 4:38 pm on Feb 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a little site that I will post news articles on. I copy them word for word. I give full credit to the original author and a link to the original article.

I have no advertising in this area. I am not gaining financially by having these news stories up. I even wrote a little disclaimer stating that if I used your story and you aren't happy about it then I will take it down.

I really don't think that there is anything wrong or even illegal about it.

If you are posting ads and other things along with other peoples articles then you could be getting into some trouble becuase you are generating revenue from other peoples work. So I would argue that it depends on the site. I don't like the comaprisons to plagerism though. If you give full credit and link the original and are only presenting it for information purposes then it isn't plagerism because you aren't trying to pass it off as your work.

But if you want to follow the handing in to the teacher analogy, then if you handed in a thesus and you quote 10 news articles then as long as you give them credit in your reference then there is nothing wrong with that at all. So I say if you aren't trying to make money off the articles and you give full credit to the original author and site then you are fine. It is like posting newspaper clipping in your restuarant restroom for people to read while they pee or wash their hands or whatever.


 7:24 pm on Feb 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

The preceding is bad advice and is incorrect from start to finish (except probably for the part about the poster not feeling he is doing anything wrong).

Also, just because you don't have ads in "this area" of your site doesn't mean that you are not profiting from the infringement. If you have ads on other pages of your site, or have any links to your other sites, then let's face it you ARE doing it for profit.


 7:47 pm on Feb 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Demaestro, the only thing you've left out of your scenario is asking for and receiving the "permission" to use the material.

You might want to take some time to read through the information on the Copyright Office [copyright.gov] site to see if you are on as solid footing as you seem to think.


 12:05 am on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sorry that link is to the USA Copyright. We don't all live in the USA and those of us who don't aren't always bound by the rules laid out by USA law.

For example in Canada, it is not illegal to download unauthorized copies of music, only to share them. Not so in the USA. So please don't suggest that U.S. Copyright Law is law that all people around the world must obey. That is not the case at all.

Now I have done a little digging and as long as I am not profiting or trying to pass it off as my own. I am able to repost an article I have read, I can link to it, I can put in my own comments in red text. I can use it in a parady and I can use it as a reference. So don't get all hissy when I say I re-posting something word for word isn't illegal because it isn't everywhere in the world.

Good Luck to the original poster but find out what the law is in your area, and when it comes to these things I always call my lawyer, for a few rubles I can reduce my liabilty greatly.


 12:37 am on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes if you work for Google or Yahoo and only include a fraction of the article.


 1:51 am on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Dude, I live in Canada so don't try to run that game on me.

Nobody cares what you do with your site. You'll get your comeuppance or not, as the case may be. But what you are posting is false.


 5:57 am on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

So then tell me what law or rule am I breaking? Specifically? You can't deny I have some fair use of the article if it is on a public site. I just haven't seen anything except your opinion that would suggest that what I say is false from start to finish. I think that is a little hasty without anything to back it up. I mean come on, your argument is that you live in Canada, so you are a legal expert or just a Canadian? I really would love to learn what law I am breaking or how I could be held liable for doing what I have described.

Sorry if you think I am wrong and if I am I will be happy I that I have learned something new, but I looked around and I asked around and I admit that no one here is a legal expert but we do have some smart cookies that deal with Internet protocols and no one can think of any law or copyrights that you would be breaking by re-producing word for word a news story while giving full credit to the original author and source if it was available to the public.

The only sticking parts that came up when I threw the subject out there was if you were posting something that was in a "paid members only area" or where you are trying to profit from the work itself.

I really don't see how posting the article and giving credit and linking the original is different then having RSS which would have the original title a description and the link to the original story. I mean I could make a frame with the original story in it when you are on my site, I could take a screen shot of the article and post that.

Some people here think that RSS is the right course of action. I just don't see the difference. I guess if someone makes the RSS available then it implies that they don't mind you having their titles and descriptions on your site but what does posting an article with facts on a public website imply?

Again sorry if I am wrong but I think that the difference in opinions is proof that what I was saying about paying a lawer a couple of bucks and finding out for sure what the law is where your physical server lives is the right way to go.


 6:43 am on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a little site that I will post news articles on. I copy them word for word.

So then tell me what law or rule am I breaking? Specifically?

I will preface my remarks by saying 1) I'm no lawyer, and that 2) if you continue this practice, then you are eventually going need one in the worst way, because you have no idea what you're talking about--it seems you don't even understand the fairly simple compound word "copyright [google.com]".

Copyright--and this is similar at least throughout the western world--is nothing less than the right to copy a creative work. This right is held exclusively by the creator of the work. Permission to copy a work must be obtained from the copyright holder, or you are almost certain to be in at least technical violation of the applicable laws.

In Canada, the applicable law [laws.justice.gc.ca] says that:

For the purposes of this Act, “copyright”, in relation to a work, means the sole right to produce or reproduce the work or any substantial part thereof in any material form whatever [Emphasis mine]

Pretty unambiguous, don't you think?



 7:04 am on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Okay, obviously you're republishing copyrighted work. If your position is that you are not infringing on the originator's rights then you (not me) should look into the principles of Fair Dealing, which is the Canadian equivalent of Fair Use. Maybe a judge would find your use to be valid under the Fair Dealing criteria, but since you are copying the article in its entirety that's going to be a hard sell.

P.S. Good point about the physical server. If your server is in the US then you could ALSO be sued under US law. I'm not sure but I have a hunch that even if your domain name is registered through a US registrar, this could open the door to action in US courts.


 5:02 pm on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Valid points. I really don't think I am going to "going need one in the worst way" and while your quote is quite unambiguous it is also out of context.

Let's say there is a big news story, let say the danish cartoons for conterversary sake. Now let's say on my website I site a specific article on the subject and begin a discussion. I link the story I reference and it gets slashdotted. So I then go and look in my browser chache and retrieve the source for that page. Which was placed there by the author and a legal vender of the article. I now post it so that my discussion may continue and not kill the original site with hits so that posters can read the article being discussed.

I am violating copyright law? I say no. You say yes, guess it would be up to a judge. But that is basically what I am doing and like I said I posted something saying if you don't want your work up then tell me and I will take it down. And I would do it galdly.


 5:31 pm on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm in the U.S., so someone can tell me if Fair Dealing is different from Fair Use in this point, but under fair use whether you're making a profit from copyrighted material is one aspect that's looked at by the courts, but not the only thing. Not making a profit on it doesn't automatically make it fair use.

...and when it comes to these things I always call my lawyer, for a few rubles I can reduce my liabilty greatly.

So what has your lawyer said about this?

Except for the very first one (reposting an article), everything you listed could be legal (in general, legal advice needed for a specific situation):

>I can link to it

>I can put in my own comments in red text.
I don't know what the red text has to do with it, but you can write commentaries and reviews on someone's copyrighted material and use quotations of reasonable length to specifically illustrate what you're commenting on. Republishing the entire copyrighted piece would be pushing this beyond the limits, IMVHO.

>I can use it in a parady
Well, in a parody, anyway. One of my favorite quotes is from Al Franken after a court threw out the Fox News complaint against him: "Parody is protected free speech in America, even if the subject of the parody doesn't get it."

>I can use it as a reference.
From my understanding of the word "reference," that would be perfectly okay.

But none of those things is the same as:
>re-posting something word for word.
Which would be illegal in any country that signed the Berne Convention, I believe (assuming you mean the entire piece rather than a short quote).

If I were your high school teacher and you handed in a term paper that referenced 10 news articles, or gave short quotes from 10 news articles to illustrate your points, that would be fine. If your entire term paper was made up of 10 news articles retyped word-for-word in their entirety, that would not be fine.

And, yes, the difference between using a validly offered RSS feed and re-publishing copyrighted news articles of your own choosing on your site is precisely that the people producing the RSS feed are giving permission for its use. As copyright holder, that's their decision, not yours. [IIRC, in earlier days of blogs, some people didn't realize their blogging software was automatically sending out RSS feeds without their permission, but I haven't seen that complaint for awhile.]

Edited to add: Demaestro, we evidently posted at the same time. From your latest post especially, I'd say you're not talking about the same thing the OP is. I don't know anything about using the contents of a browser cache, so I'll have to let someone else address that. But most of the things you've mentioned all along are very different from saying that what the OP is asking about is okay.

[edited by: Beagle at 5:42 pm (utc) on Feb. 28, 2006]


 5:40 pm on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am violating copyright law? I say no. You say yes, guess it would be up to a judge. But that is basically what I am doing and like I said I posted something saying if you don't want your work up then tell me and I will take it down. And I would do it galdly.

From your description, it's clear you are violating copyright. It's not a matter of opinion. Saying you will take it down if asked is no defence, and actually it's a royal PITA for a lot of content creators to have to go chasing up everyone who decides to use their content without permission.

This is why copyright is opt-in, not opt-out. You *have* to get permission first.


 6:03 pm on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just had to add:
...but what does posting an article with facts on a public website imply?

It implies the same thing as leaving your house unlocked when you go to the corner post office. You're taking a risk, and trusting that most members of the general population won't go in and take things. It doesn't make someone who might go in and take something any less liable. (Just a loose analogy - I've read enough times in this forum that copyright infringement and stealing aren't the same thing ;-) ) Are you saying that unless someone charges a membership for access to their site, anything they post is fair game?

Again, I'm not sure you're talking about the same thing as the OP. When you say "with facts," are you implying that you're using their facts in something you've written? If not, I don't understand why you specifically put "with facts" into the sentence. With attribution, there'd be nothing wrong with that. Facts can't be copyrighted - the copyright is on how the facts are expressed/presented. But I don't think that's what the OP is asking about.


 6:37 pm on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Beagle you have giving me the most to think about with your points and like I said I love learning.

Pehaps I am violating copyrights, but what would be the recourse and what damages could someone claim against me by what I am doing? Trust me, no deep pockets here.

I still think there is something to be said about the fact that a legal vendor has placed a copy of the work onto my computer, giving me some Fair Use/Fair Dealing.

Now how is reposting it in my little forum different then reposting a newspaper in my public business? Or placing a copy of a physical newspaper that I got from a legal vender in my waiting room for people who happen by to enjoy? Or I place clippings of interest under the table glass for patrons at a restaurant to read. Perhaps a review of the restaurant you are in. Or on the walls outside for people to read while they wait for a bus at the stop outside?

I am taking what was giving to me by a legal vendor (in the case the html source of the story, placed onto my computer by their website) something that contains facts, peppered with opinion, and I am redisplaying it. Remove the digital vs physical logic and think of the web source as a physical good, I see no difference.

Also I guess I could go ask my lawyer but for what he charges and hour I perfer to speculate. I will say that I am not some sloutch who knows nothing about the web. I am not saying I am right but I am mearly pointing out that it is not as cut and dry and the "No" reply the original poster got. It just isn't that simple.

Edited:Some bad spelling


 8:27 pm on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

When I asked what posting an article to the public implies I didn't simply mean that they made it available. I mean they are phycally transfering the story onto a machine built for media viewing and reproduction, a machine that you as the person viewing the article has ownership of, and other then some software code that you agree liensing terms to before using you pretty much own any data on that computer.

It is not like leaving your door unlocked. It is more like inviting people in, letting them take stuff but then getting upset when you see the stuff you gave them displayed in public somewhere.


 9:00 pm on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

When I asked what posting an article to the public implies I didn't simply mean that they made it available. I mean they are phycally transfering the story onto a machine built for media viewing and reproduction, a machine that you as the person viewing the article has ownership of, and other then some software code that you agree liensing terms to before using you pretty much own any data on that computer.

Way to miss the point.

Granted, a copy must technically be made for you to view the page/article/material on your system. Perhaps the difficulty you're having--and you pretty clearly seem to have difficulty with the basic concept--is exacerbated by the use of the word 'copy'. If we change the word 'copy' to 'republish', will it help you to understand that what you're describing falls very neatly into the list of activities that are considered copyright violation?

For the purposes of this Act, "copyright", in relation to a work ... includes the sole right

(f) in the case of any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, to communicate the work to the public by telecommunication,

source [laws.justice.gc.ca]

Note the phrase "includes the sole right". Unless you are the copyright holder or have permission from whoever is, you may not reproduce a complete work "word for word." You can debate all day whether you think this is fair or reasonable or whether the law ought to be this way, but as it stands my non-professional opinion is that you're legally in the wrong.



 9:39 pm on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

bedlam that is fair and you are right, I don't think the law should be that way nor do I agree with it, and I still feel that my argument is valid, and while I may be wrong my defense would at least require consideration before condemnation.

As I stated though what recourse would someone have for my copyright violations? Usually what happens is you get a legal threat in the form of a letter or email and it will contain a cease and decesist request. Follow that request and you should be good. This of course doesn't include those with deep pockets where a comission style lawyer may get all wet over and go after. That's not me.

I mean sometimes a news article is just a press release, in which case it is intended solely for communicating to the public by anyone who whishes to report the news, it's not like we are talking posting someone's book or poetry. It is news. Facts. Facts orginized by someone. How does someone own the facts? Or even own their version of the facts? Or their version of the facts with some commentary? It is just banter about facts.

Please don't forget the context of the original post, and it has been missed, the original poster is talking about a medical context. I am sure that medical papers and research articles are written and reproduced all the time. I do not have the medical expertise to re-write some concepts in my own words accuratly, and the original poster may not either. I mean only a medical expert or someone who does techinal medical writting would have the knowlage to do such a thing.

If the original poster's website is something like "Average Americans against Asthma" then I doubt posting the latest article on Asthma research is going to get much ire from the original author. Asthma is a major problem many articles written on it, many reasearch papers to discuss. I mean you are giving credit. Asking is an option but what if the guy is booked with a string of talk ahows and by the time he gets to your email it is 5 months later and it is old news.

On the other side of the of the argument there is the guy who is selling subsciptions to the latest articles on let's say, dirtbiking and making money off a collection of articles that others have written. In this case I would then say it is different.

Doesn't anyone want to try to hold on to what freedoms we still have? I am surprised by the degee in which some people have gotten upset over the suggestion that we have rights to do things that a few lobbying law writting companies don't want us to do.

I mean based on this quote:
"(f) in the case of any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, to communicate the work to the public by telecommunication,"

Then it would be wrong for me to read a newspaper article over the radio that I felt was worthy to discuss on my talk show. That doesn't seem right and I have done exactly that and legal didn't call down. I read the name of the paper and the author, then the article. I guess I was performing copyright infringement, however I don't feel bad and I will do it again at some point I am sure. Again I just don't see how this is different.

I mean this isn't China, but we keep laying down everytime some new thing is put into the copyright act then soon it will seem like we do. Some things placed into the act will not stand up in court, the problem is they have yet to be challeged and therefor many unfair ones that take away rights many of us have rights to remain on the books.

BTW if you are in China you can't read this.


 12:03 pm on Mar 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

So wouldnt Shoutwire be illegal?

I know that people submit the articles but I am sure that they dont have permission from the website/blog owners to do so.

I also appreciate that Shoutwire only gives a few lines of the article, but it also frames the entire page which I also believe cant be done without permission.


 4:31 pm on Mar 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well not illegal.

Please remember and a lot of people get confused here because of RIAA type propaganda. Copyright infringment is not illegal, it is not theift, it isn't. The police won't come banging down your door. It is a civil matter. The state or crown will not get involved other then provide a civil forum to resolve the issue. The courts.

You will never hear in a court about how it is the State Vs Demaestro and the charge... Copyright infringment.

No no no. It is a civil manner, it is there only to protect original works. It opens you up to civil suits where the holder of the copyright has some recourse if that holder feels like he is out resources and is looking to recoupe them from you because your action has resulted in some loss of something.


 5:53 pm on Mar 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well not illegal.

The state or crown will not get involved other then provide a civil forum to resolve the issue. The courts.

This is not, strictly speaking, true--at least in Canada:

Civil Remedies under the Copyright Act [laws.justice.gc.ca]
Criminal Remedies under the Copyright Act [laws.justice.gc.ca]

The criminal remedies mostly deal in for-profit copyright violations, but you may find item (c) interesting:

42. (1) Every person who knowingly


(c) distributes infringing copies of a work or other subject-matter in which copyright subsists, either for the purpose of trade or to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright,


is guilty of an offence and liable

(f) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both, or

(g) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding one million dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both.

As you can see, item (c) could be very much subject to interpretation. And incidentally, lest readers of the thread think the contents of these copyright acts are related to the "piracy" of digital files, check out the wording in section 2 of the criminal remedies section quoted above:

(2) Every person who knowingly

(a) makes or possesses any plate that is specifically designed or adapted for the purpose of making infringing copies of any work

The wording--"plate"--pretty clearly suggests that the act was drafted in a pre-digital era.



 6:26 pm on Mar 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Demaestro: I truly hope no one, let alone the original poster, relies on your consistently contrary and baiting 'analyses' of copyright law and its elements. You're entitled to your opinions, of course, as am I: Your citations are out of context, your examples inaccurate, and your arguments specious.

In short: When it comes to copyright law, you've got it wrong.

You also appear to keep needing the last post. Fine. This was mine.


 6:30 pm on Mar 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Demaestro, you've remained quite polite in the face of some fairly direct attacks on your position. If nothing else, that proves you're a good Canadian (no smiley; I'm quite serious).

So don't take this too personally when I say that what you are making are not legal or logical arguments, they are just examples of wishful thinking. You're clinging to your preconceptions in the face of overwhelming evidence. There's a vast amount of copyright infringement online and it may well be that your personal risk of getting sued is low, but you should really stop asserting as fact things that are patently untrue.

This 45 message thread spans 2 pages: 45 ( [1] 2 > >
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