Is this type of content curration legal?

20 replies
I want to post reviews about products in my niche by simply researching other review sites on the web and giving a summary of them. For example I want to review the model 500 camera.

1. I look at many different sites that review the model 500 camera.
2. I create a blog post and video telling my opinion and saying "the model 500 camera received a 5 star review at camerareviews.com and a 3 star review at cameras.com" Many owners complained of short battery life...

Can I talk about the info that I've received from other sites as long as I give the sources at the bottom?
#content #curration #legal #type
  • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
    Yes, you can as long as you don't actually copy and paste from their sites. Or at least, no more than a small quote with attribution.
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    • Profile picture of the author Letsurf
      Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post

      Yes, you can as long as you don't actually copy and paste from their sites. Or at least, no more than a small quote with attribution.
      So I can paraphrase it? Do I actually need to site the sources too?
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  • Profile picture of the author the_icon
    Its pretty much what happens on the Drudge Report or Huffington Post isnt it.

    As long as you dont steal their content and claim it as your own your fine
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    • Profile picture of the author Letsurf
      Originally Posted by the_icon View Post

      Its pretty much what happens on the Drudge Report or Huffington Post isnt it.

      As long as you dont steal their content and claim it as your own your fine
      So just to make sure I don't have to ask permission first? I can relay info I find on other sites and quote them and add sources?
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      • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
        Originally Posted by Letsurf View Post

        So just to make sure I don't have to ask permission first? I can relay info I find on other sites and quote them and add sources?
        No, no one said anything about quoting (copying) and sourcing. It was, you can act as a "reporter" and say at acme.com the model BP received a 3 star review. That is different than quoting the actual review at acme.com.

        Quoting gets into what is a fair use. This is a factual issue depending on the content, what was quoted, and how much quoted. There is no bright-line saying you can quote up to X number of words and be fine.

        .
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        • Profile picture of the author Letsurf
          Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

          No, no one said anything about quoting (copying) and sourcing. It was, you can act as a "reporter" and say at acme.com the model BP received a 3 star review. That is different than quoting the actual review at acme.com.

          Quoting gets into what is a fair use. This is a factual issue depending on the content, what was quoted, and how much quoted. There is no bright-line saying you can quote up to X number of words and be fine.

          .
          Sorry didn't mean to use the word quote =) I just meant putting it into my own words but using the info and review data provided on their site.
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          • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
            Originally Posted by Letsurf View Post

            So I can paraphrase it? Do I actually need to site the sources too?
            You can't paraphrase the entire piece, but there's nothing wrong with summarizing or restating the main points. Yes, you do need to cite the source - that IS the point of curation. If you don't cite the sources, that's no longer curation. It's simply plagiarism.

            Originally Posted by Letsurf View Post

            So just to make sure I don't have to ask permission first? I can relay info I find on other sites and quote them and add sources?
            You do not have to ask permission as long as you cite sources and limit any direct quotes. You also can't paraphrase or take all the info from a site, with or without a citation.

            Curation is providing your reader with what you feel are the best sources of information and adding in your thoughts and experiences to come up with a unique perspective. You shouldn't ever try this without giving live links back to any of the sites you use as a source and you should never quote more than a small portion (a general guideline is no more than 10% of any given piece, but you do need to use your good judgement on this and absolutely cite the source).
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            • Profile picture of the author Letsurf
              Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post

              You can't paraphrase the entire piece, but there's nothing wrong with summarizing or restating the main points. Yes, you do need to cite the source - that IS the point of curation. If you don't cite the sources, that's no longer curation. It's simply plagiarism.

              You do not have to ask permission as long as you cite sources and limit any direct quotes. You also can't paraphrase or take all the info from a site, with or without a citation.

              Curation is providing your reader with what you feel are the best sources of information and adding in your thoughts and experiences to come up with a unique perspective. You shouldn't ever try this without giving live links back to any of the sites you use as a source and you should never quote more than a small portion (a general guideline is no more than 10% of any given piece, but you do need to use your good judgement on this and absolutely cite the source).
              Thanks so much for the great info! I have one more question. Would I have to do in-text citations or would it be OK to have a spot at the bottom that sais Sources:

              source 1
              source 2...
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              • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
                Originally Posted by Letsurf View Post

                Thanks so much for the great info! I have one more question. Would I have to do in-text citations or would it be OK to have a spot at the bottom that sais Sources:

                source 1
                source 2...
                I've seen it done both ways, so I don't believe it matters. You probably should test this and see what your readers seem to respond to better.
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveWF
    Yes what you've suggested is perfectly legal and ethical.

    As long as you're not flat out swiping the whole review, posting it as your own and not giving credit to the source, you'll be fine.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author tagalog
    If you copy and paste you are infringing copyright and must, therefore ask for the owner's permission. On the other hand if you are simply expressing an opinion on what has been written, e.g. 'blah blah blah cdr.com give the product 3 stars and sds.com gave 5 stars, therefore the median based on the two reviews would be a 4 star rating......'. That would not be a problem as you are not infringing (stealing) copyrighted material.

    Remember always that it is not necessary to place a copyright claim at the end of any written work as it is automatically copyrighted in the authors name.
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  • Profile picture of the author KimboJim
    I'd just put it under the video. That way it's not intrusive, and it allows people to verify what you are saying if they want to.
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  • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
    Nothing wrong if you do it like this...

    The Acme 7000, Quivizar's latest automatic house cleaning robot, has received mixed reviews by consumers throughout the Internet. Many of those reviews are praising the speed of this new robot - the Acme 7000 can clean a 3,200 square foot home in less than 30 minutes. That's more than twice the speed as the previous model. While speed was a plus for most consumers, the constant use of curse words by the robot proved problematic for some, especially those with small children. One woman told a story of coming home from work to find her nine year old daughter in an all out screaming match with the droid. Despite the turrets syndrome-like behavior, consumers who posted reviews online seemed happy with the overall results they received from this state of the art house cleaning robot.
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    • Profile picture of the author onSubie
      Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

      Nothing wrong if you do it like this...

      The Acme 7000, Quivizar's latest automatic house cleaning robot, has received mixed reviews by consumers throughout the Internet. Many of those reviews are praising the speed of this new robot - the Acme 7000 can clean a 3,200 square foot home in less than 30 minutes. That's more than twice the speed as the previous model. While speed was a plus for most consumers, the constant use of curse words by the robot proved problematic for some, especially those with small children. One woman told a story of coming home from work to find her nine year old daughter in an all out screaming match with the droid. Despite the turrets syndrome-like behavior, consumers who posted reviews online seemed happy with the overall results they received from this state of the art house cleaning robot.

      ...into my swipe file...
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  • Profile picture of the author ccole
    The type of content curration you are planning is totally okay. The idea of curration is to look for other sites that you can use for you to get content. However, you still need to follow the rules to "NEVER COPY OTHERS CONTENT". Just look for an idea and create your own phrase and post it. If you happen to quote someone's post, then you need to the link that as the source of that quote. That is fine and it is good to attract more readers.

    P.S. the source doesn't have to be clickable. Plain text is good.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronorr
    I would think if you don't copy word for word. Also my friend scott scanlon is an expert on curation of content and has some products for that you can look his name up on twitter or go to youbrandinc.com

    good friend of mine for a long time
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  • Profile picture of the author Letsurf
    What about listing technical specs about a product? Say we have a digital camera, can we list the exact technical specs that are given by manufacturer or how do we handle this?
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Reviews are normally covered by the FAIR USE exception of the US copyright law. Add a little more commentary to fully CYA.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Letsurf View Post

      So I can paraphrase it? Do I actually need to site the sources too?
      You can paraphrase, and you should cite sources, too. Not only is it good form and avoids even the appearance of plagiarism, it actually adds to your credibility. Unless, of course, you quote and/or cite joes-shill-site.spam...

      Originally Posted by Letsurf View Post

      What about listing technical specs about a product? Say we have a digital camera, can we list the exact technical specs that are given by manufacturer or how do we handle this?
      Technical specs, like an ingredients list in a recipe or a box score for a ball game, aren't subject to copyright. Again, if you cite the manufacturer, it helps your credibility as reporter/curator.
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  • Profile picture of the author MisterMunch
    About the specs. I usualy just describe the specs and if I have some opinion about a particular spec I write that as well. Makes for more relevant content.

    The specs are usualy copied and pasted from the product developers specs and the same description and specs are shared by all your competitors. Better to make something different and stand out in the crowd.
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