Re: Permission on the Web

Subject: Re: Permission on the Web
From: Tom Tadfor Little <tlittle -at- LANL -dot- GOV>
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 10:05:17 -0700

Suzanne writes

|Here's an interesting question to pose to you: many of us are somewhat aware
|of copyright and permission to use rules for hardcopy. But what about on the
|Web? If I find artwork or material at a site that I would like to use in my
|material, do I have access to it? Does the "fair use" provision apply here?
| Is
|it legal to just borrow what I find on the Web? Any of you law-savvy types
|an opinion or actual experience? And if you do find a site that is has the
|copyright sticker on it, what then applies? Am I able to use artwork (.gif
|images, etc.)
|and text or do I have tweak it a bit?

The laws are the same for publishing on the web as for publishing on paper.
Whether the copyright notice appears on a web page or not, any original
material there (text, graphics, whatever) is copyrighted. Whether appropriating
it is "fair use" or not depends on the same criteria that apply to hardcopy
publications: the quantity used, the purpose of the use, etc.

So the quick answer is to treat a web page as if it were a printed magazine.
If you'd worry about cutting the photos from a magazine article and pasting
them into your own publication, you should worry equally about performing the
electronic equivalent.

Tom Tadfor Little tlittle -at- lanl -dot- gov -or- telp -at- Rt66 -dot- com
technical writer/editor Los Alamos National Laboratory

Visit Telperion Productions on the web at

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