I will be doing two things:

  • Make a blog/website and copy and paste algorithmic questions and other programming problems word by word (could be from books or other websites) and properly cite them. Something like: this question appeared in this book and it asks us to do this thing and this is how I solved it..

  • Find solutions for those problems and explain them in an article or video online and put them behind a paywall.

will I be infringing any copyright law? if yes, how can I do something similar without hurting someone else?

  • You can ask for permission to use the material. Of course, if you're going to use it commercially the copyright holders are likely to ask for compensation. – David Thornley Nov 13 '18 at 21:26

Such written questions are, in general, protected by copyright, and you cannot reproduce them word-for-word unless you have permission, or some other legitimate basis. Nor can you reproduce them in a close paraphrase, with just a few words changed. That is still an infringement of copyright.

If you are in the US (you don't indicate your jurisdiction, and it makes a difference) such use might be defensible as fair use. Fair use is described in some detail in this question and its answer. Whether copying counts as fair use depends very much on the exact details of the situation, and a general question can never give an answer that can be depended on. That your planned use would be for instruction tends to support the case for fair use. If it is the case that it would not harm the market for the original, that would also tend to support the case for fair use. That the original was factual rather than imaginative or dramatic also inclines a bit towards fair use. If your use is for profit that tends to incline against fair use.

If you are not in the US, there is a somewhat similar concept called "fair dealing" in the UK and Europe. The rules for that are significantly different, and it tends to be less inclusive, as I understand it.

Why not consider reworking the questions, using the ideas from your sources, but not copying word for word, or even in a very close paraphrase? That would be much less likely to infringe copyright, and expose you to a lawsuit.

If you are in doubt, you would be wise to consult a lawyer knowledgeable about copyright. You could describe in detail your plans, and get advice you could better depend on.

  • thank you very much. and by the way I am based in New York. – skypen Nov 13 '18 at 20:47
  • I'd emphasize that talking to a lawyer is going to be a LOT cheaper than losing an infringement lawsuit. – David Thornley Nov 13 '18 at 21:24
  • @skypen: I have added a tag to indicate US jurisdiction (copyright and other IP issues are largely federal law, so the exact state doesn't much matter). As the asker of the question, if you find that this answer is helpful and fulfills your needs, you can accept it. – David Siegel Nov 14 '18 at 0:43
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    Saying that "you cannot reproduce them word-for-word" is misleading: that encourages the false belief that changing a few words circumvents copyright protection. Partial copying is copying. – user6726 Nov 14 '18 at 1:11
  • @user6726 I think it was intended that specifically not reproducing a question word for word would be a way to avoid unintentionally copying. For example, if the problem says "Write a program that checks if two strings are palindromes. [...details]". If you read the problem and then restate it in your own words, then it is likely that you are not copying. After all, the person who wrote that question does not 'own' the idea of a problem where you ask someone to write a program that determines if two strings are palindromes, nor does he 'own' the definition of what is a palindrome. – Brandin Nov 14 '18 at 10:08

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