Can You Copyright An Essay

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If a source is based on "value judgments", it may be protected by copyright, even if it looks very similar to fact.The United States copyright law which governs Wikipedia (see Wikipedia: Copyrights) forbids Wikipedia contributors from copying information directly from other sources except in limited cases.We can copy content that is public domain or that is properly licensed for our use (with any necessary attribution).Instead, we consider two factors: The Wikimedia Foundation's associate counsel wrote in January 2011, "Unless you know the criteria involved in creating the list, it is impossible to even gauge the potential of a court finding that it warrants copyright protection.And unfortunately, even if you do know the criteria, it is very hard to predict what a court will say (especially because the courts vary in their opinions in different circuits on this matter) when there is a degree of creativity involved.In assessing the nature of the material, we first have to determine if content is subjective ("value judgment") or not.Sometimes this will be obvious ("best love songs"; "U. Presidents, chronologically by term"), and sometimes it will require evaluating the criteria used by the original creator.If they are creative in content (subjective "value judgments"), material taken from them may need to be limited to comply with fair use.If they are creative in selection or presentation, information is usable but only if presentation and selection are significantly altered.The following examples provide some guidance on the kinds of content that would typically be considered "discovery" and, hence, public domain.(Please remember, that per below, other copyrightable factors may still hamper free use of the source list or compilation.

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