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Copy And Paste-Is It Legal?


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Deke40's Avatar
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18-Sep-2005, 04:33 AM #1
Copy And Paste-Is It Legal?
Seeing this is the "Copy & Paste" capitol of the cyber-world I thought I would ask this question of one of our esteemed lawyers or one our less esteemed posters.

The following footnote and the resulting link was at the bottom of an article I wanted to post and I wondered how many of the copy and paste articles posted here have this warning attached to the original and how stringent is the enforcement of said copyright laws such as this?

? 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.
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18-Sep-2005, 06:44 AM #2
http://www.copyright.gov/ should have the information you need.
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18-Sep-2005, 09:40 AM #3
Actually I am surprised that this site isn't harder on people who do that copy/paste of entire articles, particularly when they don't attribute the source.

"Fair use" means you can copy/paste parts of an article to discuss or bolster an argument. Copying entire articles would not ordinarily be considered acceptable, and not attributing them when copying them is clearly a violation of both the law and of ordinary ethics.

I am not a lawyer, but I would think that this site does have a potential legal liability from this rather widespread practice.
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18-Sep-2005, 09:47 AM #4
It may be beyond the scope of 'fair use' -- but the environment here as well as previous court rulings regarding forums and the posting of articles have set a precedent. To post the complete article is frowned upon, but TSG will suffer no liability due to the usage.

Best bet is to use the webquote feature for the section you want
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18-Sep-2005, 10:29 AM #5
We added a new feature some time back that allows you to copy a portion of an article and a link to the full story. I don't know how many people use it, or even know about it, but it does exist. It's the last icon on the right at the top of the reply window, WEBQUOTE.
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18-Sep-2005, 11:01 AM #6
Thanks CB and JW I wasn't aware of that feature.
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18-Sep-2005, 12:53 PM #7
I think as long as you attribute a link and credit the author you'll be fine. "Technically", posting an entire article as oppossed to a portion bodes in favor of violation of copyright rather than "fair use". But as a practical matter, if you don't derive commerical benefit from it, no harm, no foul. You'd have to have someone come here and complain--the remedy would be to remove the article. But we are debating over nothing. Copying and posting articles is widespread in every message board on the Internet. I would think most courts would hold it not a violation provided no direct commercial benefit is derived. Its really an issue of protecting property rights and the vast majority of authors would love nothing more than for their work to be distributed more widely so long as they get credit.
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18-Sep-2005, 01:16 PM #8
Some companies are now using (Spiders) to search for copyrighted material

Most people should register the copyright

The way to use the fair use excuse is to only print a portion of it with a link following it. Most courts see that as fair use.

Others will just file a cease and decist

usually it's when monatery value is disrupted on a money making site in an effort to make money off of someone else's work that causes lawsuits for the most part.

One Pool company creates pics and writings to sell pools and then finds a close recreation of there site elsewhere, if it is overseas, which happnes far more often, then it is almost impossible to do anything about it.


Almost everything on the web is copyrighted somewhat, still copyright registration should be done, due to the outcome in court.
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18-Sep-2005, 01:44 PM #9
Thanks again for the replys.
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20-Sep-2005, 12:51 PM #10
I tend to paste articles here if they don't have the usual copyright warnings - always quoting the source. With AP articles I just point TSGers towards them.
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20-Sep-2005, 09:46 PM #11
This has been discussed before and I tend to agree with Mulder that what occurs here isn't a violation of "fair use". That said we should (that is an editorial "we", really Mike should) consider implementing a policy of not allowing copy and past of full articles. The problem is that if someone decides to give Mike a hard time or mounts a legal threat it could cost to much to fight. Face it, TSG is not a multi-million dollar operation. One suit and we could be left without our favorite hangout. I would suggest to Mike, if I was his lawyer, to impose a ban on full posting of articles. In it's place I would suggest the poster paste a small portion of an article with a link to the remainder. The poster could post just enough to give the flavor of what the article is about. In the case of newspapers the first paragraph (which is usually one sentence) gives the gist of the story anyway. This restriction would, obviously, have to be written into the rules and post conspicuously about the site. I elect Mulder to write the rule cause he doesn't have anything to do anyway. Or just steal it from another site. And it has the added benefit of being able to quickly scroll past anything posted by xico, linskyjack, Bassetman etc etc.
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23-Sep-2005, 12:39 PM #12
There is a problem with C&P in that at times it's almost a substitute for putting an arguement or opinion forward. Yeah, it's a useful way of supporting your arguement but remember that a lot of journalism these days lacks objectivity at times and can render the arguement somewhat spurious. I posted one of my own writings a while ago simply because I wrote it as a synthesis of all thoughts I had on the subject at that time. When written the facilities on TSG web pages weren't large enough to accommodate the text so I had to keep it (after emailing it to friends and interested parties) until the site had its upgrade just over a year ago. As a former journalist I wrote it as an Ezine type piece anyway.
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