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JD 1992
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Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Experience:  18 years experience
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What copyright rules do I need to follow when writing a

Customer Question

What copyright rules do I need to follow when writing a large glossary for a how-to book? Can I copy short definitions found in other books or on Wikipedia without providing a reference? I'm worried about legality, not about proper academic form.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  JD 1992 replied 10 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today.

Expert:  JD 1992 replied 10 months ago.

The rule is that you can't use someone else's writings without permission of the author. There is no specific cut off such as "you can use thee words, but not four" or anything like that.

If you are using wikipedia, they allow you to do so but they do require you to provide a specific cite to them and if you don't it would be a copyright violation.

So, to summarize, the only safe way to get a glossary is to 1) write it yourself, or 2) get permission to use someone else's.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work. Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered.