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Referring to copyrighted sources

Discussion in 'Internet & Social Media Law' started by Peter C, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Peter C

    Peter C Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello,

    I work in a small company and we plan to launch a website where analytical articles and reviews will be published. Those articles and reviews will be based on or will include information from various international sources such as news websites, websites of government authorities (statistical data, reports), reports of analytical agencies (available for free downloading from their websites), information from corporate websites, research studies, etc.

    So, my question is, is it permitted by the copyright laws 1) to cite (quote) any information from the above mentioned sources without getting prior permission from copyright owners, and 2) to mention any ideas, conclusions, etc. (without direct quotation) from such sources without getting prior permission from copyright owners.

    Of course, a list of references and links to sources will be provided for each article in both cases.

    And one more thing. In cases when prior permission is required, should it be a paper signed by both parties, or a simple email is enough?

    Thank you very much for your help!
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    None of our responders knows European law.
    We discuss the laws of the USA.
     
  3. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I deal with international law. In essence, your question involves the copyright law of each jurisdiction and a reference to the Berne Convention which is a treaty of several dozen countries and is also explained in this topic on the Berne Convention and copyright law.

    Much of the time intellectual property laws are similar because their aims are the same. However, there isn't any single universal law which you can use without researching the law in each jurisdiction. You'll have to do your research for each jurisdiction.

    Much has changed recently, especially with regard to the European Union's desire to create and apply law more stringently on Silicon Valley tech giants. Spain enacted a law which was designed to prohibit Google from taking news snippets without compensating publishers. While the intent was to have publishers compensated for their efforts, reports stated that this led to a disastrous effect because the news sites themselves had greater benefit from the traffic generation than from the small amount of traffic loss as a result of users reading the snippet but not clicking through - and publishers couldn't waive the payment requirement. Google ended up withdrawing its news aggregation and referral efforts in Spain.
     
  4. Peter C

    Peter C Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you, Michael! Very interesting. So, we'll do additional research on the law in each jurisdiction.
     
  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I think you may be over thinking this. Have you never written a paper for school that required footnotes? If you don't know how to do it just look at any article on Wikipedia or any article on a medical website that discusses medical studies.

    If that doesn't help you, there's probably a local college near you that has a class in research writing.
     
  6. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I think you've made a good point. If it's just a review which cites sources, there might not be an issue, e.g. such as regularly providing information as an aggregator like Google News and other such sources. What I've provided might be the extreme and I'm trying to raise some awareness of ensuring that some research is done prior to publishing for a commercial news site, especially as some governments are searching for ways which laws and regulations can be used to bolster a sagging news industry.
     

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