Is it correct that I can't take the source code from an educational book and write/use in my website or use it for my own teaching purposes?

Or can such code be considered "generic code" without copyright e.g. basic examples of what is new in Java 8 and the study code for Java 8 in the study guide from Oracle.

It would surprise me if I could do what I want with the code, and it would also surprise me if I'm forbidden to use the code, especially if I improve the code and put it in an executable context (now the code is just printed on the page in snippets and never in an executional environment).

Same question for computer science books, I suppose sometimes there is a licence found in computer science books for the source code, and sometimes we may use the source any way we like.

Spec. I'm wondering about the source code in the Java study guides for the Java certificates. I find it cumbersome to use a CD and I would like simple HTMLforms with the code to practice and even run the examples where I can and step thru the code examples with a debugger if/when I don'e understand.

  • 1
    If you received a CD containing source code, there is usually a license statement somewhere explaining what you are allowed to do with the included source code. I've never seen such a license that said you could post source code to a web site. Usually they say the opposite.
    – Brandin
    Sep 14, 2016 at 6:42

1 Answer 1


Written down computer code is subject to copyright. If you do not have the permission of the owner to copy it you are breaching their copyright unless your use constitutes fair use/dealing.

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