Online newspaper articles and for-profit education

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Travis Holtzclaw
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Online newspaper articles and for-profit education

Post by Travis Holtzclaw »

Would it be considered copyright infringement if I were to use articles from online newspapers on a for-profit Business English website?

(1) Article taken from an online newspaper (CNN, etc.) turned into a mini-English lesson by me.

(2) The article would have full reference and a link to the original.

(3) Site users would pay a monthly fee to view these mini-lessons and read the articles.

Would such an action be liable for copyright infringment?

Thanks for your time and comments.
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Post by AndyJ »

Hi Travis,
I'm afraid the answer is almost certainly that this use would infringe copyright. There have been a number of high profile cases recently in which the courts (both here in the UK and the Court of Justice of the European Union) have found that quoting fairly small extracts from news stories, including the headlines, without permission, can infringe.
These decisions were in the context of news aggregators or 'scrapers' providing synopses and links to stories of interest to their clients, but given the close similarity between that use and your proposal I think you would run into similar difficulties.
I say this despite the fact that you propose to do this for educational purposes and normally such activity is permitted under Section 32 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. The difference is that you would be doing this for commercial purposes, and so Section 32 could not be claimed as a defence. Of course it could be argued that most tertiary eduaction is now done on a commercial basis, but as yet the courts haven't been asked to rule on this aspect. And secondly, the newspaper industry (including their web offshoots) have shown themselves to be keen to protect their rights.
I suggest you could discuss the idea of obtaining a licence to use content from the Newspaper Licensing Agency.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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