I am thinking about building a website that is a collection of information. Some of the content will be written by me and some of the content is from outside sources. The outside sources will be cited accordingly so there is no plagiarizing. However, they don't know that I am sourcing them. I want to charge x amount my users for permission to look at my collection. Is there a legal issue that I might find myself in if the outside sources see that I am charging money of a collection that includes their information that is cited?

  • Do you have permission from the copyright owners to reproduce the content for profit?
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 4:07
  • No I don't have any permission from anyone connected to the cited works.
    – yevi
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 4:08

2 Answers 2


You seem to be conflating two issues: copyright and plagiarism. Providing proper citations generally resolves the plagiarism issue, but does nothing to resolve issues of copyright. If are only including brief quotes from the underlying work you may be covered by fair use or a local equivalent. If you are copying "substantive" portions of the article without permission you are almost certainly in violation of copyright, which could get you in legal trouble.

  • It is brief quotes from the work. A summary of the work by me and then a link to the outside source.
    – yevi
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 4:34
  • 1
    You may be ok, but it's not a sure thing. In the US the briefness of the quotes would support a case for fair use, but the fact that it is a commercial site works against it. You should probably contact a lawyer to make sure you are on the right side of the law (or simply get permission from the holder of the copyright). Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 4:40
  • Gotchya. Thank you for your time.
    – yevi
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 4:41

You can't copy other people's stuff unless ...

  1. You have their permission. You don't have this.
  2. Your copying is fair use if US law applies, fair dealing if Commonwealth of Nations law applies (which between them cover most of the English language world) or the equivalent if you are somewhere else. Your usage case may be fair use, its almost certainly not fair dealing.

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