When preparing a Technical based Terminology and Description Guide for publication. if you have copied or added descriptions to various terms from other sources, such as Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, how do you go about obtaining their approval to include this in you Book?
A: Hello. Wikipedia permits the commercial and noncommercial use of text
contained in its articles with attribution under the Creative Commons License.
If you follow the license rules, then you can use the Wikipedia text. The problem with this is that you are effectively rendering a portion of your work reusable by others without limitation. This may not pose a problem for you or your employer. However, if it does, then you will have to materially alter the information that you obtain from Wikipedia, or you risk having your work used without permission. The same goes for any specific Name brand products I might refer too?
A: Use of a competitor's trademark
is not prohibited, as long as doing so does not confuse readers into believing that the author or publisher of your work is somehow affiliated with the competitor, or that you are using the competitor's goodwill to your advantage.
Example 1: Microsoft® Windows is an operating system manufactured and distributed by Microsoft Corporation.
This use is "nominative." You're merely stating an undisputed fact -- not marketing a competitive product or trading on a competitor's good will.
Example 2: We manufacture a product which is substantially identical to Microsoft® Windows. If you need a robust operating system at a substantially reduced cost, we suggest that you try our product.
This use is an attempt to trade on the good will of a competitor, and you are almost certain to be sued for this type of use.
If you have any question in your mind about the use of a famous name, then you must contact the manufacturer and obtain a license to use its trademark -- or, alternatively, not use the trademark. Do I as the Author do this follow-up, or does the Publisher?
A: A competent publisher will review your text for potential intellectual property infringement issues. However, if your work is full of potential legal problems, the publisher may simply reject the manuscript. Regardless, you could be held jointly liable for any infringement, unless the publisher agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless
, you from liability. And, even if the publisher were to do so, a small publisher could be sued out of business, and you could find yourself stuck "holding the bag." So, it's prudent to try to ensure that your work is not violating anyone else's intellectual property rights.
Hope this helps.