Is it illegal to reproduce someone circuit schematic in your paper ?

In summary: That's a tough question.Is it OK to reproduce the schematic diagram from another book in your work with proper credits?In summary, it is legal to reproduce the schematic diagram from another book in your work with proper credits.
  • #1
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hi guys
i am trying to write a paper based on someone previous paper in which he discussed a simple electric circuit on some topic , my question is : is it illegal for me to reproduce the circuit schematic using multisim or something and properly cite them in my paper ?
or i need their permeation for that , and what if the paper is 17 years old .
 
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  • #3
patric44 said:
i am trying to write a paper based on someone previous paper in which he discussed a simple electric circuit on some topic
How simple? Is it simple enough that it is shown in other references (like databooks, application notes, textbooks)? What was that 17 year old publication about? Was it copyrighted? Does it look like the author is still around so that you could ping them with an e-mail asking for permission?
 
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  • #4
IANAL but just to make sure we are talking about the same thing: definitely if you quote the source and draw the circuit by yourself it is a completely different situation than if you just reproduce the diagram by photocopying it this or other way.
 
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  • #5
Reproducing an excerpt of a copyrighted work and citing the source in order to comment on it usually falls within fair use in the US

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

if that is what you are doing, just go for it. The copyright holder can object, but can only sue for damages if they can prove you profited from misappropriating their work.
 
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  • #6
Also not a lawyer, but the copyright typically covers the literal images and words, but does not cover ideas (not copyrightable, but patentable if that's appropriate). So if you just draw the circuit yourself and don't give them credit I think you're not committing a federal crime (though you are committing an academic one)
 
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  • #7
Mentor Note -- we are getting close to giving legal advice in some of these responses, and I'm pretty sure none of us are IP lawyers...

@patric44 -- Please respond to my questions in Post #3. Thank you.
 
  • #8
Illegal where? Copyright laws depend on the country.
 
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  • #9
berkeman said:
How simple? Is it simple enough that it is shown in other references (like databooks, application notes, textbooks)? What was that 17 year old publication about? Was it copyrighted? Does it look like the author is still around so that you could ping them with an e-mail asking for permission?
the original author constructed a circuit that might be used for educational purposes to demonstrate some physical concept , the auther derived some differential equations related to it , my paper are based on a numerical solution of the differential equations deduced from their paper , so basically i am citing them very much every where in the my paper, i don't know if it was copyrighted or not , but i am assuming that it might not be since their original paper urge the use of such circuits to demonstrate the physical concept , i redrawed the circuit in my paper using multisim , referring that its their circuit and continued my discussion from that
 
  • #10
What are you going to use your paper for? If it's to be published in a journal the journal will probably know the rules.
 
  • #11
Would people that sue others for citing their work last long in academia?
 

1. Is it legal to reproduce someone's circuit schematic in your paper?

It depends on the circumstances. If the circuit schematic is protected by copyright, you will need to obtain permission from the owner before reproducing it in your paper. However, if the schematic is in the public domain or is considered fair use, you may not need permission.

2. How do I determine if a circuit schematic is protected by copyright?

You can determine if a circuit schematic is protected by copyright by checking the date it was created and if it includes a copyright notice. If it was created after 1978 and includes a copyright notice, it is most likely protected. You can also search for the schematic on the U.S. Copyright Office website.

3. Can I use a circuit schematic in my paper without permission if I cite the source?

Citing the source does not automatically give you permission to use a circuit schematic. You will still need to obtain permission from the owner of the schematic before using it in your paper.

4. What is fair use and how does it apply to reproducing circuit schematics?

Fair use is a legal doctrine that allows for the limited use of copyrighted material without permission for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. Whether or not reproducing a circuit schematic falls under fair use will depend on the specific circumstances and factors such as the purpose and character of your use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the portion used, and the effect on the potential market for the original work.

5. Can I reproduce a circuit schematic in my paper if I modify it or redraw it?

Modifying or redrawing a circuit schematic does not automatically make it legal to use in your paper. If the original schematic is protected by copyright, you will still need to obtain permission from the owner before using it, even if you have made modifications. It is always best to seek permission from the owner before using any copyrighted material in your paper.

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