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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

Is 'News and Weather' Copyright
Can I use news stories if I re write myself
peter andreas

 2:01 pm on Jan 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Is 'news' copyright ie can I have news headlines if I re write myself and add my own slant etc and do not simply copy and paste ie if the same stories are available in many newspapers is it public domain? I wouldn't use photos without permission though.
Also is weather as in todays weather is Xdegrees etc, again if it is available from sevceral places?

Thanks for any thoughts



 2:24 pm on Jan 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think you'll be okay, although it would probably be a good idea to list (or link to) your source, just to avoid any accusations.


 2:39 pm on Jan 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

My guess is that weather is the result of research. So, the answer is probably yes... but who cares anyway, unless you go into details...

peter andreas

 9:55 pm on Jan 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I suppose I could always loo out the window and have a thermometer!

Thanks fot the comments


 10:06 pm on Jan 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

As always, it's best to check with a copyright lawyer for your particular circumstances for an authoritative answer.

If you're taking others' content and rewording it, then publishing it as your own, it may not be a violation of copyright-- but it is plagiarism.

Publications of the U.S. government are stipulated to be public. However, some restrictions may apply. For instance, from the NOAA website:
The National Weather Service encourages all dissemination sources to provide attribution for NWS forecasts and warnings. The only companies REQUIRED to provide this attribution are ones that connect DIRECTLY to the NWS Family of Services and pay a fee for this service. No one can claim copyright on government material if that material is delivered/broadcast/disseminated just as it was transmitted from the government. If a company adds value (graphics etc.) or creates a unique display, then the resultant product may in some cases be copyrightable. This must be determined on a case-by-case basis through application of U.S. copyright law.

peter andreas

 3:38 am on Jan 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi Thanks, to be safe we won't do this unless we have permission.


 7:51 am on Jan 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Het Peter

I'd say the issue comes down to how much of a rewrite you're doing. The rule of thumb I've heard in the past is that descriptions of a news event are copyrighted while the event itself cannot be.

I did a little searching and found some discussion. Hope it helps. :)




peter andreas

 8:25 am on Jan 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks, thats very useful. As you say surely no one can copyright an event that is widely reported in the TV, papers etc, all I want to do is mention the facts relating to those events. I agree they can copyright how its reported and written uo I suppose.


 1:25 pm on Jan 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

You're welcome. :^) You might want to explore that "hot news" misappropriation theory [google.com] further.


 5:37 pm on Jan 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

My philosophy is that when summarizing copyrighted material such as a news story, I include a link to the original source.

That way my visitors can read a more complete article if they wish. Thus the use is similar to the snippets displayed in search engine listings, or Google News. This is the kind of linking that the Web was founded on, and is unlikely to be challenged (although a few sites do not approve of deep linking, I've done it widely for years with never a complaint).

Personally I don't see the point of writing standalone articles based on other news feeds, if that's your intention. Such articles are almost by definition going to be inferior to and less authoritative than the original sources.

peter andreas

 9:17 pm on Jan 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

If we do it we would just give headlines as pointers thats all, not a full 'story' Thanks for the great advice

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