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No, it's an infringement. Think about it. If I record the latest number one hit record in my own voice and sell the recording does it violate copyright?
Not sure if I agree, I wasn't talking about songs here, but rather a narration which could also be printed in text. I could also change a lot of words and add my own ideas to it to make it unique, try doing that in a song....
try doing that in a song....
Ad-lib - common in a large volume of song cover versions, especially the better ones.
photonstudios: As I understand it., you've come across material within your niche that you think is compelling, and want to emulate it. But the way you have phrased your posts seems to be saying "I want to copy someone else's copyrighted material. How much do I need to change for it to be legal?":
hiring someone to re-record these audio sessions with their own voice and what would I need to change and how much of it I would need to change in order for it to become my own, so it doesn't violate copyright
I could also change a lot of words and add my own ideas to it to make it unique
Copyright laws are intended to protect original works - i.e. what is unique about your offering needs to be the starting point - not an afterthought. If you take what you liked about the audio sessions, and use those concepts to create something unique, then you don't have to worry about copyright laws.
If you take someone else's original content, then regardless of the percentage of change, the number of words or threshold you aim to pass, you need to talk to a qualified lawyer and IMO are likely to be skating on thin ice.
[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 9:59 pm (utc) on Nov. 5, 2008]
If you create a version of the original that changes all or most of the words, rewrites sentences, shifts paragraphs around, etc., but uses the original's ideas and organizing structure, IMO you're still violating copyright.
Check out resources like those at the US Copyright Office to help gain a better understanding of copyright law and the theory behind it.
The same goes, in my uninformed opinion, for an article about a car maintenance task. If, for instance, the article is about replacing an oil filter, the sequence of events being described and the tools involved may well be the same in any number of articles. The nature of the task forces similarity of articles between authors describing it. Just because I wrote about changing an oil filter first (which I didn't) doesn't give me copyright.
If the above is not the case, then let's give up and go home (or go to work in my case) because between wiki and about.com, all possible tasks have already been written about.
There are further reaching implications too, what ill this do for your companies reputation, what will customers who have bought your copy feel knowing that they have been sold something that wasn't yours to sell, how many other people will they tell about your underhand tactics. Even if you are found to not be liable by a court, this could do untold damage to your businesses reputation.
It may only take you 1 day to rip off some one else's work, but it will take a lifetime to rebuild your reputation if it goes wrong, surely it is better to put a little bit of time in in the first place and create your own unique content in the first place.
If you are looking for ideas on what to talk about, why not try the new wordtracker tool [labs.wordtracker.com...] which will show you what questions people are asking about your industry?
Will you get nailed? Most of the time NOT (look at all the MFA sites out there). Want to be lumped in with that bunch?
Is this the same as if I was rewriting someone else's article or ebook in my own words?
As if that's ethical or legal?
I pursue content thieves regularly and have had success getting sites shut down even though they have re-written my original articles in their own words.
Do the right thing.