Is Putting Information from a Book on My Website Against Copyright Laws?

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Q: I’m wanting to make a "home improvement" website with tips on decorating, home, garden, health, crafts–that sort of stuff. Would it be against copyright laws if I put stuff I got from books on my website? Would it matter if I didn’t write it "word for word"? I was also thinking I would put on my website the reference of the book that way whoever is reading it will know I didn’t make anything up. Please give me an idea of what to do if it is against the law.

A: If this is going to be real website, I seriously suggest you talk to legal counsel. Unfortunately, most of the answers on here are very wrong. Generally speaking, copying or even adapting another’s copyrighted work is copyright infringement. It doesn’t matter whether you cite sources or whether you make no money from it. Plagiarism and copyright infringement are two separate things. Most importantly, copyright infringement is based on statutory law (Title 17 of the US Code). So you have specific rules you must follow. There is also no general guideline to avoid copyright infringement. Much of it is determined on a case-by-case basis.

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No Responses to “Is Putting Information from a Book on My Website Against Copyright Laws?”

  1. wertydocker Says:

    not if you label the god damn sources in mla format
    god even i kno that
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  2. Lili X Says:

    i think it is if you don't give the credit to the person who wrote the book.
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  3. finn b Says:

    I think there is a law that states you can only copy something like 4% of a book without the owner's permission, but this might only apply in the UK.
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  4. Rodrigo C Says:

    not if you quote it…if you let everyone know that that information didn't come from you but from the book.
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  5. heart0of0stone Says:

    It's ok as long as you cite your sources clearly and aren't trying to make a profit.
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  6. vanillacream753 Says:

    You have to cite your sources.
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  7. chocolatecoookiesz Says:

    I guess if you cite your source from which book, site, etc. you got it from, it's okay.
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  8. Linda H Says:

    LOL….dont get caught!!!
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  9. mr knowitall Says:

    I'm pretty sure you'll be alright as long as you list your referance material
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  10. Sean Says:

    Generally if you give credit to the holder of the copyright, you should be okay. Also, unless you are trying to make money off your website, it shouldn't be an issue. If you are trying to make money off your website, then the issue becomes much more cloudy.
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  11. FallDownLaughing Says:

    If you use the information word-for-word and don't attribute it — that is, you don't say explicity the name of the book and the author and publisher — that that would be plagiarism and a violation of copyright law. In some cases, you could be violating intellectual property law if you use someone's original idea, even if you don't copy it word-for-word, if you claim it as your own. For example, if you were to use a recipe from a cookbook, and changed a word or two, you could be accused of plagiarism if you don't attribute the source.
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  12. Beyounce Says:

    Plagiarism.

    That's is you don't get permission.
    You have to go and ask the source for permission. Or if you can't get a hold of them. Quote them word for word and give them credit.

    Otherwise, they can come back and sue you, for making money off of their hard work.
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    College courses. Slammed in our face everyday about using someone else's hard work.

  13. left_coast_punk Says:

    If you don't give the original author a citation either in the form of a booknote, or footnote, it's considered plagiarism.
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  14. friedach Says:

    It always pays to reference your sources, and you may have to pay the copyright owner for the use of his info. BTW you are allowed abt 10% direct copy for personal research purposes. Can get nasty legals if you just go ahead. ASK permission to use info-if granted in writing, reference source and say "used with permission".
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  15. Bwana Says:

    You said "YOU" want to make a web site whereby "YOU" tell people how to do things. Therefore, I'm wondering why "YOU" need to consult other so-called authorities (books and etc.) to tell the public what "YOU" think and have to say regarding the subjects "YOU," via your web-site, are representing yourself as being an expert on? Do you have some form of inferiority complex that craves recognition?

    Now to address plagiarism and copyright infringement: if a person reads books, and most people do, and is an author, ans some people are, certain concepts (ideas) and information may have been gained from the person's reading which are presented as self originated by an author while the author is simply transcribing personal thoughts on a subject: that is not copyright infringement. Copying what another author has written and passing it off as your personal thoughts on something is copyright infringement. Copying what another author has written, but distorting it enough to avoid copyright problems is unethical. Some things are not, because of common usage, subject to copyright infringement: recipes for example i.e.; how to make chocolate milk (you dump some chocolate into some milk and stir).

    From the take I got when reading your question, I'd advise you to find another topic for expressing expert opinion; say one you know something about.
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  16. Annie Says:

    If this is going to be real website, I seriously suggest you talk to legal counsel. Unfortunately, most of the answers on here are very wrong.

    Generally speaking, copying or even adapting another's copyrighted work is copyright infringement. It doesn't matter whether you cite sources or whether you make no money from it.

    Plagiarism and copyright infringement are two separate things. Most importantly, copyright infringement is based on statutory law (Title 17 of the US Code). So you have specific rules you must follow.

    There is also no general guideline to avoid copyright infringement. Much of it is determined on a case-by-case basis.
    References :

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