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Using stories and quotes from the internet (1 Viewer)

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Good Afternoon,

I hope that all is well. I have a question related to adding stories and things from the internet. I am in the middle of writing an E-book that is non-fiction, it is more of a self-help sort of book. I would like to add some content from people on the internet. I don't want to take any of it out of context or create anything bad from it, I would leave it intact. However, do I have to ask permission from these people to add them into my book, or because it is already on the internet can it just be added? For example, a person paid off all of their student loans in 10 months. Am I able to use her in my e-book, saying (This particular person paid off their student loans in 10 months by saving, budgeting, and tracking). Am I able to do this? Thank you so much in advance. Also, if you are in need of more clarification, please reach out and I will try to make it more clear.
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
The brief answer is not just NO, but HELL NO. :) Unless you specifically see a notice that the author has released their content to the public domain it IS under Copyright, and you need express permission from the authors (and you'd better get it in writing) to include their material ... and even then you MUST attribute it.

Occasionally you may see notice that content may be freely used with attribution. That's somewhat rare, but it's still under Copyright even with that friendly restriction.
 
Thank you so much Vranger. That's what I've felt this whole time, although I was being told it didn't matter since it was already out there publicly. It didn't sit well with me at all and I have been researching and looking for a space to answer this question. Thank you so much again!
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
Thank you so much Vranger. That's what I've felt this whole time, although I was being told it didn't matter since it was already out there publicly. It didn't sit well with me at all and I have been researching and looking for a space to answer this question. Thank you so much again!
My pleasure. Copyright is much more simple and protective than many imagine it to be. Copyright attaches at the creation of the work. No copyright notice or registration is needed. When someone starts typing, they are copyrighted word by word. Of course, things like copyright notice and registration make ownership easier to prove. So even if you see content that doesn't display a copyright notice, it's still protected.

This is US Copyright law, which cooperates with a standard signed onto by many countries. There may be variations in some countries, and there are other countries which aren't signed on at all. That may be why you see notices on this site about protecting "First Rights", which isn't a term you'd find used anywhere under US Copyright law ... but this site has members and visitors from around the world.
 

apocalypsegal

Senior Member
On another forum, someone said they were going to take the replies from various members and make a book about writing and self publishing. They were quickly advised that to do so would get them in court with a copyright suit. It had to be explained to them that even if the individual poster didn't have the rights, the owner of the site would. So, no. You can't just take stuff because it's on the web. Not words, not pictures. Not anything. Unless you ask and get express written permission allowing you to do so, the best path is to assume everything is copyrighted to someone else, and thus you can not have it.
 
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