I am not an attorney, but I am also a webmaster with reprints of copyrighted
articles on the site. I spent some time researching the copyright issue.
If you own the copyright of an item, you control the use of that item. I
also believed that If I did not profit from the item, I could freely use it.
The courts have ruled that lost profits or anticipated revenue from a like
venture is covered by copyright. Most magazines offer a reprint service,
for the right to reprint an article for handout (we have all received these
from the motor trend car of the year, etc..). The making a copy of one
article and reproducing for handout impacts the magazine from a potential
revenue source, hence is a violation of copyrights.
Magazines are commercial ventures and will want to make a profit. My site
has negotiated with several magazines for the right to reproduce magazine
articles. We ask for a blanket right to reproduce articles pertaining to
the Lotus Elan (my site http://LotusElan.net). We also commit to a list of
conditions. For example:
Never publish an article that is less than 3 years old
Provide banner space for the magazine
Notify the magazine when an article is published, for their review
Never publish an article on the magazines web site
There are several other conditions, but we basically print articles that
would have not reprint value and give the owner the right to review the
article. This gives the magazine the right to control how we reprint the
articles. Most have been very responsive. I also have a few articles of
magazines, we have not obtained permission from. We mark those with
permission currently being requested and start the process with that
magazine. It also provides the magazine the ability to see how we would
Most websites, that are not commercial in nature, ask that the use of any
item show the original copyright owner when it is reproduced. I have
several pages that are copied from other car enthusiasts sites. I reproduce
the page on my site (hate hyperlinks that disappear), indicate the copyright
owner and provide a link back to that site. My site has these guidelines
for reprinting any item.
As a webmaster, the courts want to see that you tried to follow the spirit
of the law. I also provide a legal page that indicates that items that are
copyrighted but are not indicated, will be removed or marked with the
correct copyright info upon proof of ownership.
If you get bored, look at my sites legal stuff. Available from the bottom
of any page.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com
> [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of Eric J Petrevich/LRM
> Sent: Thursday, July 29, 1999 9:32 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: point of clairity
> OK, now that we have someone here from a magazine, I've got a couple of
> questions about copyrights.
> First off, this is NOT a flame at all, it's just a couple of questions
> about the law.
> I've always thought that I can not reproduce any writing material
> ONLY if I
> was either claiming it as mine own OR if I was making money with it. It
> was my understanding that as long as I gave credit to the author (and
> publisher) that I wasn't breaking any laws.
> So, if I read a magazine and give it to a friend, am I breaking the law?
> What about if I post the info on a web page, am I breaking the
> law (a FREE
> web page)
> What about if I use the info in a school report?
> Quite frankly, I'm more confused now. FWIW, I have lots of
> material on my
> web page (I also have the shop-talk file archives among others) and if
> the stuff is not legal for me to have there, I'll remove it. My
> is just to share info (what the internet was created for) not to steal
> others work.