Inquiring Minds - Questions of Copyright

Copyright imageEvery week, librarian Judy Woodward compiles the most interesting reference questions and sends them to the Roseville Review. Here's this week's sticky inquiry!

Q.  I'm in an e-mail discussion on a particular topic with a friend, and I would like to share some comments that I found in a book on that subject. If I were to copy a few paragraphs from this book and send it to him, would I be violating copyright laws?

A.  Probably not. Copyright law generally allows for copying brief passages for educational purposes. In addition, you don’t intend to distribute these passages commercially. You just want support for the point you’re making to your friend. It's a good idea to give credit to the author when you send the passages, however. You can find out much more about copyright law with one of the many good books on the subject that the Library owns. Check our online catalog or ask a librarian for more help. (Library procedures.)

Got a question for our reference librarians?  Email us your question, or stop in at any of our seven branches!


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