Copyright Matters


All of the materials at are copyrighted, including the originals and modified republished versions of the originals. Subsequently, you must request expressed, written consent to copy, reprint, republish or otherwise reproduce any of the materials now or previously displayed at, whether in whole or part. If you do so without expressed, written consent, it is highly likely to constitute illegal copyright infringement under U.S. or international copyright law, whether you do so for commercial or noncommercial use.*

You may print hard copies of the materials at for personal use without consent. Personal use means strictly for your own use, such as to later reference the materials in your home without again visiting; in other words, you may not distribute or republish hard copies of materials without expressed, written consent. keeps a watchful eye on search-engine listings, Copyscape and other media for content theft. does not tolerate copyright infringement and aggressively pursues violators through legal means. Copyright infringement is a serious crime and as such, carries stiff penalties of up to $150,000 in statutory damages plus the potential for additional damages.


Generally, we do not grant permission for Web sites to reprint our content for free. It's not because we're greedy. If we gave permission to every site that requested it, would likely be forced to compete in the search engines and elsewhere with its own reprinted content. Consequently, we typically will take that risk only for sites that receive high traffic and link to in exchange for free reprints, to offset traffic and revenue lost from such potential competition. We might also take that risk if requesting Web sites pay licensing fees, that reasonably offset traffic and revenue lost from such potential competition.

We will consider granting reprint rights to other types of media for free or reasonable licensing fees, depending on the circumstances.

Before granting reprint rights, we will first ask requestors to sign our reprint agreement and return it with applicable licensing fees. When requesting reprint rights, please allow at least three weeks turnaround time for the reprint agreement and applicable fee payment. Request reprint rights by sending an


Quality sites and other media may link in good faith to any page at without consent. (Please read the Framing section below.) But, we'd appreciate it if you'd let us know by We can't promise a reciprocal link. For the benefit of its audience, links only to authoritative, professional, relevant content that enhances its own.


If you link to, please do not attempt to frame it with your site. does not allow framing for copyright and other reasons. automatically removes frames from sites that do not honor its request to omit framing. Consequently, if your site attempts to frame anyway, our shared audience won't be able to return to your site by simply clicking their browser "Back" buttons. Instead, their browsers will bounce back to the page that automatically removed your site's frame. It's not intentional, but rather just the imperfect way frame-removal technology works. Please don't risk aggravating our shared audience by attempting to frame anyway.

Revisions reserves the right to revise Copyright Matters at anytime without notice. It was last significantly revised on April 21, 2009 and is effective as of the same date. All previous Copyright Matters are null and void. If you have questions about Copyright Matters, send an We will reply within 72 hours if feasible.

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* Some people think that it's okay to reprint copyrighted documents without permission, if they give proper credit or don't gain from it. This is simply not true. It is against the law to steal copyrighted materials for any use. That's precisely what a © copyright notice means, which is why displays such a notice near the bottom of every page.

Others think that it's okay to reprint copyrighted materials without permission, after they change or shuffle a few words, sentences or paragraphs. This is also not true. Paraphrasing or reformatting another's written work does not evade copyright law. Plagiarism is what colleges and universities call this act of copyright infringement. One's work must be 100-percent original to avoid copyright infringement.

Still others assume that the legal principle of "fair use" gives them automatic permission to reprint copyrighted materials for any purpose. But this is not true either. Fair use is not automatic permission; rather it is defense strategy in a court of law to challenge a charge of copyright infringement.

Fair use is narrowly limited to special circumstances, such as quoting a small portion of a copyrighted work with proper credit. A court is highly likely to invalidate the fair-use defense, when a defendant has quoted more than necessary to fit the purpose or reprinted enough to adversely affect the copyright owner. The courts consider at least four factors to determine whether or not fair use is a valid defense.

To be sure, never assume it's okay to reproduce copyrighted materials in any form without expressed, written consent from the copyright owner. Otherwise, you might be setting yourself up for a copyright or intellectual rights lawsuit that you'll lose at great expense. There are several resources on the Web that explain fair use, as well as copyright infringement, intellectual rights violations and plagiarism. An attorney who specializes in intellectual-property legalities will be happy to explain.Attorney Referral Service