Suppose I am writing an article for a website. I go to a website for research, and I find a piece of text I want to include. At the bottom of the website it says "Copyright website.com 2015".

My questions:

  • Am I allowed to copy this text if I present it in my article quoted, and with a source?
  • If yes, am I allowed to publish my article under an open sourced license?
  • 1
    An excellent, highly relevant question to open projects.
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 20:51
  • 2
    I imagine fair use is going to come into play here
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 21:16

2 Answers 2


The easy part: yes, you are allowed to publish your article under an open-source license.

The hard part: Whether or not you are allowed to copy the text depends greatly on where you are, and what you're doing with the text. In general, this is covered under fair use, fair dealing, or other exemptions to copyright. It is a very, very broad topic, with the rules varying wildly from country to country. About the only thing that's consistent is that publishing your article under an open-source license doesn't change the rules.


I think most jurisdiction in one way or another allow quotes. You should give a source and the quote (or quotes) should be only a small part of your complete text. As I said, this might vary in different jurisdictions. But if you follow the rules of your country you should still be able to claim your rights on your text and therefore make it open source.

But here's the catch. Open Source involves others can make derivates of your text. But on the quotes they would be still restricted. They cannot change the attribution from person A to person B. They also cannot change the quote. Both action would violate rights of the person who said the quote.

So you should probably point out, that your text is open source, but the quote(s) are still more restricted.


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