Asked in Copyright for Alabama

Q: I'm writing a book. I need some examples to write in the book. People on FB gave me great ones. Can I use them?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Will Blackton
Will Blackton
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Raleigh, NC

A: Copyright law will protect the expression of ideas, that is, the creative organization of words used to write the ideas, but not the underlying ideas themselves.

So, if you want to copying word-for-word from others, you must get their permission before using their work. If you want to write something yourself, based on the idea of what other people wrote, that is generally not copyright infringement. This is known as the idea/expression dichotomy in copyright law, and it may help you to do some research on that topic. In either case, it may be best to get written permission from the people who provided you with these examples, to use them in your book.

Best of luck! Writing a book is a challenging and rewarding endeavor.

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