Question about using articles

15 replies
Hello,

I had a question primarily about using some other websites articles for a website I'm designing. I was wondering if it's ok to use someone else's articles as long as you cite the website, author clearly on the page, like bottom of the article or on top. Is this acceptable or do you still need permission?

Thank You.
#articles #question
  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    You can add any article that you want as long as you add their author's resource box.

    If the author does not provide you with it, you can have their name appear and their website visible and clickable under their name.

    Some people actually copy these articles and then post it as their own and that is the wrong way to go.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
      Originally Posted by talfighel View Post

      You can add any article that you want as long as you add their author's resource box.

      If the author does not provide you with it, you can have their name appear and their website visible and clickable under their name.

      Some people actually copy these articles and then post it as their own and that is the wrong way to go.
      No, you cannot. You can do this if the article is on an article directory or permission is clearly given on the page. You can't just go grab a random article off someone's website and think that citing the author is sufficient. It's not. Without explicit permission, it is copyright infringement.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by LivingCali758 View Post

    I was wondering if it’s ok to use someone else’s articles as long as you cite the website, author clearly on the page, like bottom of the article or on top.
    No ... it definitely isn't.

    If you don't own the copyright, you do need the permission of the copyright-owner to do this.

    If you're taking articles from an article directory, that's fine because you have their permission, as long as you do so as specified by that directory's terms of service (which will always include taking the entire article, not editing/amending it, and including the author's "resource-box", and sometimes other conditions too). By putting their articles into article directories, the authors are giving the users of the directory permission to re-publish them (and that's the express purpose of article directories). But be very clear about which sites are/aren't article directories, per se, before doing this, and always check their terms of use carefully, if in any doubt at all. I'm not pointing this out just to be pedantic or long-winded about it: there are lot of sites which look just like article directories but actually aren't at all, so this whole business is something of a "minefield for the unwary", and DMCA site take-down notices served on your hosting company are common, if you get it wrong.

    Edited to add: sorry, I was typing while Tina posted, just above.
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  • Profile picture of the author Night Owl2
    If you're going to copy articles from article directories then its okay if you also copy the author resource box.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Night Owl2 View Post

      If you're going to copy articles from article directories then its okay if you also copy the author resource box ... and adhere to all their other, variable terms of service, in addition.
      "Fixed that for you"!
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      • Profile picture of the author LivingCali758
        What if you re-worded the article or wrote it out yourself in your own words, would that be considered copy infringement? I’m honestly not trying to to “steal” anything, it’s all for non-profit group. I don’t mind giving credit to the person who wrote it as well and their website but if that’s not enough, maybe re wording the article would fall within legal lines? I just hate doing that because then I feel like it’s shady.

        What is an article directory? vs taking a an article from a website?
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by LivingCali758 View Post

          What if you re-worded the article or wrote it out yourself in your own words, would that be considered copy infringement?
          It is a copyright infringment, yes, technically speaking: it's "work derived" from an original to which someone else owns the copyright. Whether it would ever be noticed, or acted upon if noticed, is a different matter.

          Originally Posted by LivingCali758 View Post

          I’m honestly not trying to to “steal” anything
          No, I appreciate that, of course (people who aren't concerned about that don't ask: they just do it!).

          Originally Posted by LivingCali758 View Post

          it’s all for non-profit group. I don’t mind giving credit to the person who wrote it as well and their website but if that’s not enough, maybe re wording the article would fall within legal lines? I just hate doing that because then I feel like it’s shady.
          Technically it doesn't.

          Isn't your best bet here just to use mostly article directory articles, and if wanting to use anything else, simply to ask for permission? If you do that, you won't need all the time/trouble of re-writing anything at all.

          Originally Posted by LivingCali758 View Post

          What is an article directory?
          It's an online resource/database of articles made available for re-publication. The authors have put copies of their articles in there hoping and intending that other websites (and ezines) will re-publish them, so that they'll get some traffic from other sites when their readers see the article and click on the link at the end of it. The best-known examples of article directories are Ezine Articles, GoArticles and ArticlesBase. Ezine Articles has had (for a decade or so) the reputation among publishers/webmasters of having - on average - slightly higher quality content than any other, because they have a slightly more rigorous "editorial approval process", when articles are submitted, than most.

          It sounds, from what you're asking, as if article directories are the ideal source for you?

          Originally Posted by LivingCali758 View Post

          vs taking a an article from a website?
          The key difference, from your perspective, is that in putting their articles into a directory, authors are giving people permission to republish them (subject to the terms of service stated), and if you do that, you should be safe from copyright infringement complaints.

          The potential downside (if this is a disadvantage to you) is that the articles you publish have already been published elsewhere. But without either writing them yourself or employing a writer, you can't really avoid that. And it doesn't matter to thousands of other webmasters, who regularly source some/all of their content this way (which is why authors are putting their articles there in the first place).
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  • Profile picture of the author crissie
    Ideally you would contact the writer and ask. Likely answer is "Yes" if you offer to give them credit. I wouldn't just copy and assume they would mind even with a credit, because some just may not!
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      You can add any article that you want as long as you add their author's resource box.

      If the author does not provide you with it, you can have their name appear and their website visible and clickable under their name.
      That would be true ONLY IF you were getting articles from article directories and if those directories allowed it. There was no mention of a directory in the OP's question.

      Take an article from another's person's website? No, you don't have the right to do that without permission from the site owner.

      From a directory - OK as long as the directory terms permit it...not all do
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  • Profile picture of the author ccole
    Originally Posted by LivingCali758 View Post

    Hello,

    I had a question primarily about using some other websites articles for a website I'm designing. I was wondering if it's ok to use someone else's articles as long as you cite the website, author clearly on the page, like bottom of the article or on top. Is this acceptable or do you still need permission?

    Thank You.
    It is perfectly fine as long as the author box is also visible and clickable pointing back to where you get the original content.

    There are a lot of contents out there that are 100% duplicate from other sites which do not have citation of the real author.

    Always do the right thing and you'll be in a safe place.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by ccole View Post

      It is perfectly fine as long as the author box is also visible and clickable pointing back to where you get the original content.
      This is wrong, and it's potentially damaging misinformation.

      Respectfully, it sometimes helps to read the thread before replying to it: in this case, several experienced Warriors have already explained above why what you've said is wrong.
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    You must have permission to use anyone's content. Even if it is a thread on here, you can't just use it on your site and point here to the original.
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    • Profile picture of the author PayPower
      Play it safe and use only those articles with the author's express permission. You can stretch the envelope later if you add the authors resources box or reference them directly. Don't change any of the content, include all of it. Don't miss out on a powerful resource. Do your research on what is acceptable.
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  • Profile picture of the author LivingCali758
    Thanks Everyone for your comments, It doesn't hurt to ask so I will take the effort to ask the author if I’m allowed to use their content with credit given. Funny enough the website I’m looking at to take content from has all the authors names and email addresses printed under each article, so emailing them wouldn't hurt or be an issue. It’s definitely a good thing to know.

    I also wasn't aware of article directories and its primary use for them, this can be a beneficial resource as well or a “back up” if needed. Overtime as I have more bandwidth I will write a few articles myself. Thanks again for everyone reaching out and providing me the information I needed.

    Cheers
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