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Posting Another's Article on My Site

  1. There will be times that I want to post an article from another writer that I found somehow, likely on the Internet. It would be relevant, attributed to the writer, and unaltered. My question is: what type of permission do I need? The WordPress support people error on the safe side, saying you always need permission. This may not be possible, as many writers wouldn't take the time to respond to an email. Is there a place on the Internet that spells out what is allowed without direct permission? Your help will be appreciated.

  2. The same conventions are applicable to both materials published within the cyber world and without it in the paper world. Once an item is published anyone may cite it and quote from it, provided those doing so properly and correctly identify and attribute the originating author and publisher.
    The principle is: what you publish is published at your peril; and what you wish to keep private you do not publish.
    Therefore, subject to the proviso of correctly identifying the source, direct permission is not required because the work has been "published" or "made publicly available" by the author. In fact, if this was not the case, then we could not cite or quote Shakespeare or Charles Dickens, right? But there's more from a copyright standpoint to consider.
    The legal copyright requirement and convention in the blogging world is to take only a pertinent portion (direct quotation) of what another blogger has written, to put it in block quotes, and to provide a link back to their blog article for people to click through to. If this convention is not followed and you lift entire blog articles without written permission you are considered to be a dishonourable "blog scraper" and a potential plagiarist. Moreover, you have broken the law. I think this is what staff is trying to convey to you.

  3. In general, you will not be able to post it without permission. Under US copyright law at least, creative works are automatically copyrighted, regardless of formal notices or registrations, and cannot be used without permission. There are some exceptions, of course, like quoting a small section, but posting the entire work would not be allowed. Just attributing it is insufficient; the author may derive advertisement fees from its original placement, for instance.

    If you are unable or unwilling to obtain the copyright holder’s permission, I would suggest writing something like “Mrs. X had some interesting thoughts on YZ:”, then, using blockquotes, quote a small section of her article to give the reader a taste of what the article’s like. Perhaps a paragraph or so. Make sure you include a link, either in your introductory text, at the end—“(continue reading at Mrs. X’s workshop)”, or both.

    The other thing you can do is to check the copyright statement on the site. It may explicitly give permission to use material under certain conditions (for instance, Wikipedia’s articles can be used under the provisions of the GFDL).

  4. Well said darmok! :D

  5. Thanks, Timethief!

    I should clarify that my comments are in regards to posting entire articles or blog posts that others have written, which is what I thought the original poster was referring to; Timethief is quite correct for posting small sections of articles you wish to comment on.

  6. It's basically illegal to post entire articles without specific permission. What you should do is post a snippet, sum up, and say something like Click Here For More. That abides by all international copyright treaties.

    If the written work is more than 100 years old, the content may be entirely postable, but there's a caveat or two. First of all, who wants to read a long diatribe on the monitor? Secondly, if what you're posting isn't your transcription of the written text but someone else's digital transcription (ie you're not typing it from an old book, you're copying it from a newish post) the digital copyright still belongs to the other site. You still have to excerpt and attribute. To get around this, you can get an old edition and type the whole thing out yourself, and that is legally impenetrable. And excruciatingly painful, as I, the transcriber of 14,000 words of Christmas stories last Christmas, can tell you.

  7. I think as long as you don't use the article for commercial purpose and your copying of article is for information,critique etc...you are perfectly fine to copy the article with due citations.

    Check the copyright law..it punishes you only when you use it commercially...meaning you are profiting at the cost of the author.

    Digital media have tougher rules though...check on that.

  8. Raincoaster is correct; Dreamnep is not. Copyright law does not draw a distinction between commercial and non-commercial use, though the former might be more likely to induce the copyright holder to pursue the matter. Even if you’re not making money, though, you’re potentially depriving them of advertising revenue and such by offering the material for free. Regardless, violating copyright law violates the WordPress Terms of Service and you risk your blog being shut down.

    There are some acceptable uses, as noted above, especially if the copyright has elapsed or the copyright holder has granted an appropriate license. Also, as Dreamnep suggests, a line-by-line or paragraph-by-paragraph analysis or critique might be acceptable.

  9. I think as long as you don't use the article for commercial purpose and your copying of article is for information,critique etc...you are perfectly fine to copy the article with due citations.

    Um, no.

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