Generally speaking, limited use of other people's content within Fave wikis is considered fair use, when it is used for criticism or commentary, news reporting, research and education.

What you can do:

  • Rewrite or reword content, to make it your own.
  • Post quotes from interviews, and credit the source (example).
  • Post limited amount of text from articles.
  • Post content from other wikis which has the CC-BY-SA license.

What you should not do:

  • Copy and paste entire articles from other websites.

You do not need to:

  • Link to third party websites. Any links to third party sites will be removed. Why? Websites shut down or change URLs all the time, and it takes a long time to manage dead links. Users can easily reverse image search, or text search, to find further information.

Below is more information regarding fair use, for further clarity. [Source]

Under the "fair use" defense, another author may make limited use of the original author's work without asking permission. Pursuant to 17 U.S. Code ยง 107, certain uses of copyrighted material "for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."

The following types of use are usually deemed fair uses:

  • Criticism and commentary: For example, quoting or excerpting a work in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment would normally be fair use. A book reviewer would be permitted to quote passages from a book in a newspaper column as part of an examination of the book.
  • News reporting: Summarizing an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report constitutes fair use. A journalist would be permitted to quote from a political speech's text without the politician's permission.
  • Research and scholarship: Quoting a short passage in a scholarly, scientific, or technical work for illustration or clarification of the author's observations would be deemed acceptable. An art historian would be able to use an image of a painting in an academic article that analyzes the painting.
  • Nonprofit educational uses: When teachers photocopy limited portions of written works for classroom use, this is normally acceptable. An English teacher would be permitted to copy a few pages of a book to show to the class as part of a lesson plan. (Note that she would not be permitted to photocopy the entire book).
  • Parody: Parody is a work that ridicules another, usually well-known, work by imitating it in a comic way. A comedian could quote from a movie star's speech in order to make fun of that star.

Five considerations regarding "fair use"

There are five basic considerations to keep in mind when deciding whether or not a particular use of an author's work is a fair use. These are the same considerations likely to weigh on the mind of a judge:

Rule 1: Are you creating something new or just copying?

The purpose and character of your intended use of the material involved is the single most important factor in determining whether a use is fair under U.S. copyright law. The question to ask here is whether you are merely copying someone else's work verbatim or instead using it to help create something new.

Rule 2: Are you competing with the source you are copying from?

Without consent, you ordinarily cannot use another person's protected expression in a way that impairs (or even potentially impairs) the market for his or her work.

For example, say Nick, a golf pro, writes a book on how to play golf. He copies several brilliant paragraphs on how to putt from a book by Lee Trevino, one of the greatest putters in golf history. Because Nick intends his book to compete with and hopefully supplant Trevino's, this use is not a fair use.

Rule 3: Giving the author credit does not always let you off the hook

Some people mistakenly believe that they can use any material as long as they properly give the author credit. Not true. Giving credit and fair use are completely separate concepts. Either you have the right to use another author's material under the fair use rule, or you do not. The fact that you attribute the material to the other author does not change that.

(Having said that, crediting your source will decrease the chances of litigation, since the original author may feel that he or she received appropriate credit.)

Rule 4: The more you take, the less fair your use is likely to be

The more material you lift from the original, the less likely it is that your use will be considered a fair use. As a broad standard, never quote more than a few successive paragraphs from a book or article, take more than one chart or diagram, include an illustration or other artwork in a book or newsletter without the artist's permission, or quote more than one or two lines from a poem.

Contrary to what many people believe, there is no absolute word limit on fair use. For example, copying 200 words from a work of 300 words wouldn't be fair use. However, copying 2,000 words from a work of 500,000 words might be fair. It all depends on the circumstances.

To preserve the free flow of information, authors are given more leeway when using material from factual works (scholarly, technical, or scientific works) than works of fancy, such as novels, poems, and plays.

Rule 5: The quality of the material used is as important as the quantity

The more important the material is to the original work, the less likely your use of it will be considered fair.

In one famous case, The Nation magazine obtained a copy of Gerald Ford's memoirs before their publication. In the magazine's article about the memoirs, only 300 words from Ford's 200,000-word manuscript were quoted verbatim. The Supreme Court ruled that this was not a fair use because the material quoted (dealing with the Nixon pardon) was the "heart of the book... the most interesting and moving parts of the entire manuscript," and that prepublication disclosure of this material would cut into value or sales of the book.

In determining whether your intended use of another author's protected work constitutes a fair use, apply the golden rule: Take from someone else only what you would not mind someone taking from you.

Read next: Lesson 7: Wiki community standards

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