re-using content on my site

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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re-using content on my site

Post by twinkle_clean »


I would like to know if its ok to use another websites content if I quote their content

The same way you would say in an essay or dissertation?

If you clearly say that the content has come from them is that illegal? Do you still need thier permission to do that? I do of course link to their site too which is going to help their SEO ranking etc.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Post by AndyJ »

Hi Twinkle,

The type of 'quoting' in dissertations etc which you mention is covered under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act in two separate places: a. for the purposes of education or instruction, and b. the fair dealing provisions for criticism or review. The first category cannot be used for commercial purposes so assuming this was for your Twinkle Clean site that would not be available. And the second category is really fairly specific to reviewing or commenting critically on a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, so again I don't think you would be justified in claiming that.

So really there are only two ways in which you can use other people's work without infringing their copyright and they are: to only use an insubstantial amount of their content, or to get their permission to use it. Insubstantial here involves a qualitative rather than a quantitative assessment of what you use. In other words if you use parts of another site that reflect the essence or main part of that site, that could well amount to infringement. Copying any image would infringe copyright in that image. To give you an example, in a recent case involving a news aggregating service, a court decided that even quoting an 11 word newspaper headline could infringe the newspaper's copyright since a headline is designed to encapsulate the essence of the news story which follows it. So as you can see that is a risky route to follow, whereas seeking permission to quote would effectively remove any problems. Clearly whether or not you cite another site as your source may well make a difference to how they respond to your request.
If you want to quote endorsements from satisfied customers then I think you are much stronger grounds for using their words within quotes.
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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