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I used a paragraph and 4 figures from a medical book into my new book, and I cited the source of it...and I published my work on

Chicago, IL |

the internet...and my work is nonprofit...so is this plagiarism or infringement, and if infringement, does it considered as fair use...thanks a lot for your concern...

Attorney Answers 4


  1. If you properly referenced and quoted and acknowledged the statistics and figures there is no problem. But what sounds odd in your facts is your line "I used a paragraph"

    Using a paragraph may mean you simply lifted it and did not cite it as a quote.

    So, to drill down into this get yourself an attorney on retainer to review this and give you
    advice.

    Avvo is a great tool, but you cannot get specific legal advice on this Q and A general information forum.


  2. Hire a local lawyer and have them review this situation for you. Better to air on the side of caution.


  3. I agree with Mr. Brinkmeier, if properly cited, then it should not be a problem. The only concern I have is what extent of your book is your own content versus cited work. For example, taken to the extreme, let's say your book was only a 5 page book, with a title you wrote, the paragraph you cite, and then 4 pages of figures from the other work that yoi cite. That would be a different story.

    It does not sound like this is the case, so in all likelihood, you are fine..

    Good luck.

    My disclaimer is simply that Avvo already has an adequate disclaimer.


  4. It is not plagiarism if you cited the source. However, I disagree with my colleagues. This may be copyright infringement, depending the detailed nature and extent of what you used. What you told us is not enough detail to know for sure. "Non-profit" does not get you "fair use". The statute refers to "non-profit EDUCATIONAL"[emphasis added]. You did not say whether this is an educational book or not.

    You need to consult an IL copyright attorney for confidential review of this if you are to have competent legal advise. Do not rely on Avvo answers except to determine which attorney you want to use, as you have not given enough detail to get a competent answer. Also, fair use is a defense that arises only after you are found to otherwise have infringed. Taking figures without permission, if they are detailed enough that you would want to take them, likely involves risk. You need to get permission or you take a legal risk.

    I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.