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  1. #1
    PROFRBcom's Avatar
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    Default Is this a bad idea/immoral/going to get my site penalized by Google?

    OK, here's the deal. I found a site, years ago, with good content that I wished to emulate. I bookmarked said site to go back over later and take notes but promptly forgot about it, as is the case with 95% of my bookmarked sites. I was cleaning out the browser today and went to the site. However, the site no longer exists and appears to have gone offline in 2014.

    As I said, I liked the site's content, especially one page in particular. I had saved a copy of that webpage in PDF form as well as bookmarking it and was able to retrieve that PDF in my archives. Thus, I have all of the meaty text of the article at my disposal. Here's my idea/question/possible dilemma:

    Is it acceptable to take the content of that article and put it up on my own website? (I searched for specific phrases from said content, it's not up anywhere else online.)

    I'm curious if Google or other search engines will think it nefarious. I'm curious if my fellow affiliates will think it nefarious. Please help me make the right decision.

  2. #2
    MichaelCorfman's Avatar
    MichaelCorfman is online now GPWA Executive Director
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    Quote Originally Posted by PROFRBcom View Post
    Is it acceptable to take the content of that article and put it up on my own website? (I searched for specific phrases from said content, it's not up anywhere else online.)
    Unless the material is in the public domain, then using it would constitute copyright infringement. Note that the fact that material is published on the web does not make it public domain. Generally a work is public domain only if it is declared by the author to be so, or if it was written a very long time ago. For example, works published in the the United States prior to 1923 are public domain according to the following article:

    Public Domain Frequently Asked Questions.

    However, it is generally legal to read an article, understand the concepts it presents, and then to write a new article in your own words, from scratch, that explains the same concepts. I don't mean just changing a word here or there. I mean a complete rewrite in your own style. Anything short of that is a violation of the original author's copyright and intellectual property rights in the work they created.

    There is a related concept of fair use, and that means that sometimes it is acceptable to quote limited amounts of material from works that are copyrighted. Wikipedia has a good article on fair use here:

    Fair Use

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  4. #3
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    Miles_Videoslots is offline Former Affiliate Manager
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    Always preferable to write your own copy well said Michael

  5. #4
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    For sure you could go across waybackmachine.org and you could find billions of words from offline domains.
    But someone paid for this content in past and may be he is planning to put this content online again ...

  6. #5
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    The owner obviously won't take you to court, he didn't even care enough about his website to keep it online. He de facto took his work and threw it in the trash, and you found it.

    You can also use Wayback Machine to retrieve some more pieces of the website.

    I think the right way to go is to use whatever you can, recycle it but not by copy/pasting but by rewriting the article while using the old article as a template, and then somewhere on the site put a thank you note to the original author.

    That way the new article would be yours, based on a resource, and the resource would get the due credit. All good. But copy/paste? No.

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    Jackpro is offline Public Member
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    I completely agree with Dan. You would be crediting the resource whilst putting the article in you own words. If you can it would be a good idea to add something to the original article, perhaps time has moved on and things have changed.

    The only other alternative is to seek permission of the original publisher to copy it verbatum. If you do that you could legally publish it but maybe the search engines keep records and might see your article as copied content. The last thing you want.

    I would take the safe route if I was you and spin it with a credit added.

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  10. #7
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    I don't think there's anything wrong with this as long as you're crediting the source as well

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  12. #8
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    We're going to rewrite it and provide credit to the original author (who were also able to figure out using the waybackmachine).

    Thanks for the opinions everyone, this is why I like participating in this community so much

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    Why not just email the person who used to have the site and ask them if they would allow you to publish it?

  14. #10
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    Considering the domain is defunct, and we don't have any other contact information for the person, it'd be difficult to email them.

  15. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PROFRBcom View Post
    We're going to rewrite it and provide credit to the original author (who were also able to figure out using the waybackmachine).

    Thanks for the opinions everyone, this is why I like participating in this community so much
    I think you are doing the right thing here from every aspect, morally and legally (if there were any issues)
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