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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

    
Is there anything that can be copied?
ie Government information sites or articles
fantumz




msg:920802
 8:53 pm on Jul 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Can you copy text from a website like the say, the Amercan Heart Association and use it on your own if you clearly state that the article was from the AMA?

Thanks

 

kevinpate




msg:920803
 9:30 pm on Jul 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's not adequate to simply note where you copied the information, but that's a good thing. After all, you wouldn't want 1,3, or 20 people to copy your info and add small print that it came from your site but then you end up buried because they all outrank you.

To not infringe on someone's copyright, you need their permission, and to function within whatever limits their place on their permission, just as someone would need your permission to republish your content.

Webwork




msg:920804
 10:17 pm on Jul 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Do some research on the issue of "public domain" and don't confuse government websites with the websites of non-profit organizations. Government websites may, by their terms or applicable law, allow your to republish their otherwise non-copyrighted materials. (Some content on government sites may be from outside sources, that are copyrighted.) NPOs are not to be confused in any way with government sites and will generally not allow you to copy their content absent special provisions spelled out on their websites.

fantumz




msg:920805
 10:44 pm on Jul 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Much appreciated.

Beagle




msg:920806
 4:41 pm on Jul 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't know if this is standard across-the-board, but some government publications/websites restrict use of material for a time, but then release it. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute is like this -- they're the worst #%&*@! I've ever dealt with when trying to get permission to re-print, say, a table from an article they've published. But after (IIRC) about 3 years, it all goes into the public domain because "we" own it, after all.

Just carefully check out the policy for whatever source you plan to use.

fantumz




msg:920807
 6:26 pm on Jul 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Good. Thanks for the tip.

uhzoomzip




msg:920808
 10:28 pm on Jul 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Facts are not subject to copyright so assuming you can write in your own words about facts you can print anything you want. I wouldn't just paraphrase something though.

richy blueeye




msg:920809
 9:39 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have used nformation from the FTC and Federal Reserve websites I always change the content (paraphrase) and then say its adapted from a consumer guide, alert or brochure published by whoever published it. But I've seen the content directly copied in to several websites with little to no modification and with no reference or link to the foremention government sites. Does this mean I can use this info however I want?

Sanenet




msg:920810
 9:48 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Why don't you ask them directly? Any comment we give may not be applicable to you. End of the day, the only was to be safe is to ask before copying. The worst that they can say is no!

wolverin




msg:920811
 10:10 am on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Some governments give permission to all. For instance, the EU's EBS satellite station allows reuse of images and video etc.

Beagle




msg:920812
 2:08 pm on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have used nformation from the FTC and Federal Reserve websites I always change the content (paraphrase) and then say its adapted from a consumer guide, alert or brochure published by whoever published it. But I've seen the content directly copied in to several websites with little to no modification and with no reference or link to the foremention government sites. Does this mean I can use this info however I want?

As in most areas of life, it's not very safe to use what other people do to decide what you can do, but in this case you don't even want to do what they're doing.

I'd say what it "means" is that you're more professional than they are. Not only legally, but in building your site's credibility. If I read something on Joe Blow's website that's given no attribution at all, and then read on your site, "According to the Federal Trade Commission..." maybe with a link to the original source, I'm going to be a lot more likely to believe your write-up than I am Joe Blow's--and a lot more likely to come back to your site in the future.

Of course, the more you can make it your own, the better. You might think in terms of how a newspaper would "report the report" -- telling your readers the important points, maybe using short quotes that are always identified as quotes. Even better, if there are a couple of documents that address a similar topic, report on both of them in your write-up, with clear attributions. As a reader, all of that would tell me that you're credible and helpful.

wolverin




msg:920813
 5:02 pm on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree with Beagle.
It becomes more interesting, perhaps you can mention more than one point of view (more than one report!), compare them, and in the end you've created original content which is better for Google etc!

madmac




msg:920814
 5:23 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't know for other countries, but US government publications are not eligible for copyright protection.

If you're going to use a gov. publication, make sure it is a gov. publication. For example, someone mentioned the Journal of the National Cancer Institute; however, this journal, as with most journals, is not a government work. It is published by the Oxford University Press.

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