What can you legally take from the web?

Sara Sprenkle, 2008/04/17 12:53:

Read the following article (What Can You (Legally) Take from the Web?) and in a comment (the discussion pane below), include the following:

  • Your interest in the story, on a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being the highest
  • What are the three main points to the article?
  • How does this article change your understanding of the Web?
  • How does the article relate to class?
  • One question for class discussion

We will discuss the article in class.

This is a 20 point assignment. The comment is worth 15 points and the in-class discussion is worth 5 points. Due before 12 p.m. on Friday, Apr 25.


Jack Palmer, 2008/04/24 18:50

I found this article to be fairly interesting, 7 out of 10. The article mainly discussed the Fair Use Doctrine. In this discussion, the three main points were 1) what can be legally taken from the web, 2) for what reasons articles, items, etc. can be borrowed, and 3) who is most likely to be able to borrow items from the web.

I already knew that there have been issues with copyright infringement on the web concerning downloads (i.e. Napster) but I had no idea that companies like Google could be sued for linking its users to illegal web pages.

This article relates to class because it is important that we understand what we can borrow from other websites when creating our own applications.

I would find it interesting to discuss the legality of using other sites' formatting (their CSS files) and whether it is legal to use these files without making any modifications to them.

Nicole Carter, 2008/04/24 20:58

My interest in this story was a 9. The web allows people to get information for anything they search for and because it is available it is so easy for people to copy different things for their personal use.

The three main points of the article focus on the questions what can take legally from the web, why did you take it, and who you are. A research group copied articles from a journal for research and were sued with copyright infringement by the journal because they didn't order subscriptions. I would not have expected that at all.

This article illustrated how complex copyright laws can be concerning the web and all the information it provides. This is so mind boggling because since I started taking computer science classes all I hear is “Don't reinvent the wheel”. This is implying that we should take what we need to complete our different assignments. In this particular class we have even discussed taking layouts from websites to complete our own.

If giving someone credit by writing their name in our work, how can we be sure that we won't get sued for copyright infringement?

Josiah Davis, 2008/04/25 13:38

The three main points of the article are that determining what one can legally take from the web is not very clear-cut, looking at what you take, why you take it, who you are, and what technology you use is important in such a consideration, and that new technology tends to cause more legal issues.

This article didn't really change my understanding of the web, but it did help to clarify what can be taken legally. A good rule of thumb seems to be that, when in doubt, material on the web is probably copyrighted and not meant for free distribution. Of course, as long as one gets permission to use material (from someone legally allowed to give it), then it's OK to use. Things get tricky when “fair use” enters the picture; one person's (or company's) idea of what is beneficial to society may not be the same as the judge's.

This article is very important to our class because we will be using the web all the time. We should know from the start what we're allowed to take and what we aren't. I think it would be good to discuss how this article applies to copying style sheets from web pages. (8/10)

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cs297/discussion/what_can_you_legally_take_from_the_web.txt · Last modified: 2008/04/21 19:15 by sprenkle
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