How much can I copy from an online article? Can I do that? 4 Answers as of March 05, 2014

I am preparing a content of a presentation skills course. I will use this course commercially; I will train students on the course and provide them with the content. I would like to use online articles in my content material. How much content am I allowed to use from every single article? I don't want to steal other people's ideas , so I’m worried ethically too. I would like to know the legal percent that I can use. I heard that it's legal to use 10% of a book. I was wondering if there's a similar percent for articles. Thank you.

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Law Office of Robert M. White, PLLC
Law Office of Robert M. White, PLLC | Robert M. White
First off, there is no set percentage of copyrighted material that may be copied by another not having permission from the copyright owner. In determining whether the "doctrine of fair use" applies to your use of these articles, a court looks at what the copyrighted work is, why you're using it (i.e. Is it commercial or non-commercial), how much you use, and any effect your use has on the market for the copyrighted work. Some examples of fair use include quoting excerpts for illustration, clarification, and criticism. In this instance, more specifics that address the concerns mentioned above are necessary to better answer your question. Please contact an attorney with these specifics before continuing your use of copyrighted material.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 3/5/2014
Michael M. Ahmadshahi
Michael M. Ahmadshahi | Michael M. Ahmadshahi, Ph.D., Esq.
There is no such a thing as a "safe" percentage." The author can decide to sue on much less if the substance of its copyrighted material can be found in the lifted material.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/28/2014
Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
You should either get permission from the author or create a hyperlink to the article. You can quote a small portion of the article, like a sentence, and then link to the article. There is no set percentage that can be copied without permission. Most authors will grant permission because it will increase their sales and promotion.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/28/2014
Barton Barton & Plotkin
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
I believe you asked the same question multiple times. The answer remains the same.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/28/2014
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