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Forum Moderators: not2easy
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.
joined:June 2, 2003
Just carefully check out the policy for whatever source you plan to use.
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?
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.
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.