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Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3002
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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I am writing a how to guide for people who want to learn the

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I am writing a how to guide for people who want to learn the art of investment trading. One of the trade methods I use is derived from a trade method I learned from a trader who wrote books and instructional course on the subject. I intend not to describe in detail the intellectual property of the author, but offer to the reader to purchase the authors book for a full description of that method. However, I have developed my own spin on the authors ideas, and want to describe that to my readers.

I would like to know what I can and cannot reference, or what I should credit to the original author.

As long as you are not copying any of the material originally published by the author you will be fine in terms of any intellectual property rights are concerned. Copyright laws do not protect ideas in and of themselves. Copyright only protects the particular way or manner in which ideas are expressed. So, you are not allowed to directly copy the author's wording in how he explained his trade method. But you are allowed to explain the ideas put forth by the original author in your own wording and expression and add your "own spin" to them. Now, as a matter of professional courtesy, it would be proper and ethical to give credit to and reference the original author where appropriate. But you should be fine in terms of copyright as long as you express the ideas in your own way.

I hope this answers your question.

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