I have had many request to copy my website to other sites. Some of them even wanted to copy the entire site.
Let me explain a few points before someone gets into serious trouble.
1. Under the law (all countries have a copyright act) all published articles are intrinsically copyrighted by their authors or publishers. The copyrights expire about 150 years after the author’s death.
2. It is bad to copy other peoples works without their permission especially on the internet for the simple reason everyone, 6 billion people, will come to know that you are copying someone else work and you will looses your credibility. Worst still people will remember what you did, even after 20 years, so you will end up in a situation where no one, I mean no one, will associate with you because they are not sure if your works are original or copied. Furthermore, what is written on the internet does not go away, even if you delete the files as there are many archival systems that are recording the progress of the internet and hence keep every page published on the internet forever. For example, I have found that the pages that I published in the year 2000 are still available for viewing, in archival systems, even though the site was deleted many years ago.
3. Always ask in writing and get a written consent from the original author. Placing a message on a post is not acceptable as anyone can claim they are someone else and put up messages in blog posts. If you do not get a written letter or email of approval do not copy other peoples published works. If you do republish without the consent of the original author you will be opening up yourself to law suites and all forms of litigation, fines and …. Raising the money for your legal expenses alone, to defend yourself can force you into a position to sell your home, car and business. Legal expense are just too high and many lawyers are waiting to milk you of everything.
4. When you write to the author for permission do state your intentions, your plan and your background and if you plan to commercialise the works, the name of the website or newsletter where the works are intended to be republished,…. The authors may have already signed up with a giant corporation that has money to sue every one or just one or two of you to make an example for everyone, who has copied the works, so do get approval from the original author before you do anything.
5. You say there are software packages that copy other peoples sites and build your site with other peoples works. Please refer to point 4 above and when you get sued by 120 other authors you can sue the software developers of that software, if you have any money left.
6. You are allowed to quote from other people’s publication provided that you point a link to the referenced page or works. Not only does it show that you are well read but it also shows that you are considerate of others. The normal practice is to quote a paragraph from a book and not quoting the whole book. By doing so you will be bring business to the original author and others reading your works will quote you. Visitors to your site will come back to your site to see if you have found more information for them because searching for good information is actually quite difficult and is dependent on the topic of discussion.
7. Many people set up sites because they have something to say or to teach or for sale. It takes a lot of man hours to craft out an article, especially for those articles that are more than about 500 words. Some web owners have invested their life savings to develop their sites and I don’t think they will take kindly to others pilfering information or paragraphs or articles from them. Furthermore, they may never see any return on investment and many run at a loss just to provide free information. So do give it a second thought before you even consider copying articles form other websites. Just because a site has many visitors does not mean that the owner is making a lot of money. Most run at a loss. If you think having advertising pays a lot of money, I will disappoint you. I know of sites that have 1000 visitors a day and only earn US$1 per day. For an approximation you can estimate your earning from your website by using the above example:-
Website income per day = Number of Visitors per day / 1000 x US$1.00
And my guess is that one in 10,000 visitors may actually buy a product from you, again depending on products and location. It’s a tough world. A look at the pharma and viagra advertisers tells the whole story of the difficulty of selling on the internet. I receive one viagra advertisement in my email every 2 to 3 hours and I receive as many as 60 to 70 bot postings for Viagra everyday on this website.
I have been there, I have had websites since year 2000 and experienced getting 2 visitors per month. In the early days I had managed to get 700 visitors in 7 years and that was wonderful for me, those days. It was amazing that I could even get those 700 visitors. Those were the days when I didn’t even have my own computer and I had to write my pages at the cybercafe.
So I understand what many of you are facing. Don’t give up and please don’t copy other people’s works.
If you want to reproduce the articles on this website, please do contact me with the “Contact Us” form and I will email you back with a reply. Give me a week to reply. I will consider those who want to translate my articles into other languages like Spanish, German, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Tamil,…. etc because they will not be competing with me in the English language. I will consider those who want to reproduce these articles in English as I cannot reach everyone.
I will place a link to your site, on this site when I have approved your reproduction of my articles.
There is another point you will need to consider if you are commercialising the articles, which is royalty payments. Royalties for publications vary from 4% to 40% of sales revenue. I will settle for 5% of revenue generated. I will need to review the initial translations or rather they way it is presented before I can give you any green light.
All Rights Reserved. All articles on this site are copyright (C) Dr. Peter Achutha, 2011