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Ethics with web page copyrights

  1. Oct 12, 2004 #1
    Hey guys;

    I've a quesiton for you all. Say I find a webpage that someone wrote, and it may or may not have some copyright. This isn't like a published book or anything, it's just a text of some junk.

    Say I like the text, and want people to be able to access it. If I put a link to it on my webpage, that is fine. But what if their page goes down for whatever reason and people can no longer read that link? (This has happened in the past, I used to have a website with a ton of content and I deleted it and some people got mad at me.) Is it ok if I duplicate the page and host it on my webserver? Or to copy the content and put it on a new page, as long as I give credit to the author?

    I would never say that I wrote the stuff, but that the author is [authors name]. I could even put "Reproduced here without permission." I could even put a link to the original page. I just fear the content could be lost at some point.

    I ask, because initially I think this wouldn't be right, but at the same time I think about scientific papers, where they quote and use data from others and just put a reference to it. But then again they are just referecing it. But what about Google's cache system? They have copies of all kinds of webpages with copyrighted content.

    So what's the deal? I'm not out to be malicious, I just don't want to risk losing data or whatever. What do yall think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2004 #2


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    The internet does not have a code of ethics. ;)

    Honestly, I would have no clue.

    I would just add where it is from, as well. I would this because if it is still up, people can still check and verify that it is accurate.
  4. Oct 13, 2004 #3
    It almost certainly will have copyright, just like a published book. Some webmasters are very serious about copyright, and you might find that their first response is a bill for several thousand dollars (although whether they can make you pay it is another matter). You might be interested in the following forum:


    Of course you may be right, in that you would be doing people a favour if you made a copy of some of the content of a site. In that case, if you really think that the webmaster would be happy with you doing this then why don't you just ask them.
  5. Oct 14, 2004 #4
    I would e-mail the webmaster first and ask for permission to mirror their site. Before you do anything, ask for their permission first and save their e-mail. Assume everything is copyrighted that way you don't get into trouble.

    Okay, I googled copyright and found this pretty informative
    documentation on website permissions under copyrights and fair use. I haven't read the entire document.
    You may want to have a look through at this. Cheers
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2004
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