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I read a book that answers one of my questions, and I would like to quote it as an answer. Is that illegal?


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In any question where you ask about the legality of anything you should probably include your location in the question otherwise people reading your question might make incorrect assumptions. – ho1 Sep 15 '10 at 17:34
@ho: ..Which leads to another question: Am I accountable for my content or is SO accountable for it? – Oren A Sep 15 '10 at 22:59
up vote 12 down vote accepted

See this article on Fair Use, which describes the ways copyrighted materials can be freely used without infringing.

The line between fair use and copyright infringement is a fuzzy one but, in general, if the amount of copied text is small, and you cite the original author, it shouldn't be a problem.

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The Wikipedia entry goes into detail on Fair Use in the US, says that Israel is the only other country with a fully developed legal concept of Fair Use, and gives quick summaries of the law in France, Israel, and South Korea. It seems likely that Oren A is in an English-speaking country, but that doesn't mean one under US law. – David Thornley Sep 15 '10 at 20:03
@David: Thanks for the compliment on my English skills, but as you can see at my profile, I'm actually from Israel. – Oren A Sep 15 '10 at 23:39

IANAL, but generally speaking and in most countries, quoting a few paragraphs from a book constitutes fair use as long as you provide a citation.

Reproducing several pages or an entire chapter would be outside the bounds of fair use.

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