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Copyright Infringement?

MaryinColorado | Posted in Talk With Us on

Is it illegal to send someone a copy of an article from Threads when the backissue is no longer available?  If so, is there another way to help those who need one? Mary


  1. diday | | #1

    Here's a previous post on this topic.


    You could check with the local library to see if they have an archived subscription of Threads and make a personal copy of the article there.

  2. Purplehand | | #2

    Mary -

    Fair Use basically allows you to make a one-time copy of an article to share with a friend/family member/coworker provided that you are doing it onetime, for one recipient, it is not for profit, and you are not repeatedly copying articles from that magazine on a continual basis (thus avoiding a second subscription), copying an entire work (book or magazine issue) or making multiple copies for mass distribution.

    The tricky part of the copyright title 17 is that the recipient must either 1)read and if NOT using the information, discard it; or 2)if keeping the article, must use it. This is to prevent the recipient from creating a "library" of photocopied articles for future use (thus avoiding a subscription).

    If you are copying an article for academic or business use, you must gain the permission of the copyright owner. For a small class (<20 copies) you can ask the publisher. For larger distribution this sometimes means purchasing Reprints from the publisher or purchasing the (cheaper alternative) Right To Reprint. Or for some publications you can gain copyright clearance by paying a per copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center (http://www.copyright.com/)

    So if you want to make 1 copy of an article for your mom, go right ahead, Fair Use allows that. You just can't copy the entire issue, and you can't send her an article from your latest issue every month.

    Helping out various strangers on a regular basis however, is not something that would be covered under Fair Use.

    Edited 11/16/2006 11:08 pm ET by Purplehand

    Edited 11/16/2006 11:10 pm ET by Purplehand

  3. MaryinColorado | | #3

    Thanks everyone who answered my query.  I wasn't sure if I was just being a "stickler" for the rules.  I want to help others, but not break the law in doing so.

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