Web forums/Hyperlinks/Quotations

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Web forums/Hyperlinks/Quotations

Post by tackler7 » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:04 pm

The query involves a UK web forum. Posters are allowed to post hyperlinks to other sites/stories but are they allowed to post a small (say less than 100 words) quotation from the webpage to which they have hyperlinked?

They would do this to clarify the part of the story to which they refer and are commenting on.

Would this fall into fair use/dealings?

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Post by AndyJ » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:36 am

Hi tackler,
Provided that the quotation is for the purposes of criticism or review of the work then this should be covered by the fair dealing exception in section 30
30 Criticism, review and news reporting.
(1) Fair dealing with a work for the purpose of criticism or review, of that or another work or of a performance of a work, does not infringe any copyright in the work provided that it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement and provided that the work has been made available to the public.
as long as it complies with the other conditions. As for the length of the quotation, this will need to be judged in the context of what is fair. Only the least amount necessary to make your point would be considered fair. Since you will also have included a hyperlink, allowing the reader to view the work you are referring to, this suggests that a much smaller passage should need to be quoted, compared, say, to a case where your reader cannot easily access the work in question.
The exception for criticism and review is to be expanded in October 2014 to more explicitly cover quotation. We have yet to see whether this change will allow for greater amounts to be quoted, than at present.
You mention that this is being done on a forum. If you are unclear about the rules that affect that particular site, you should try and clarify this with the website operators, as it may expose them to liability for infringement, for instance if there is active moderation of the forum.
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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