Lets say I have a website and the content on my website originates for the most part from other websites. But when the content is from an other website i provide a link to this original content with the notification that the original content is located on said link.

I could say my website sort of functions like a search engine except in my "search engine" the content of my "search results" is also available.

Am I allowed to do this?

If extra information or clarification is needed please let me know!

Edit The "Is Google legal" question does not answer my question, as explained in the answer I am asking about a large portion of a websites content where as Google only displays a small snippet of a webiste.


1 Answer 1


First I should point out that the Google question is about a different situation, the "snippet" issue where a tiny part of a web page is redistributed, where the issue of resolved in the US by appeal to the "fair use" defense. The proposed scenario as written here is broader since it would go beyond a couple of lines, and goes up to the limit of copy an entire web page. That is copyright infringement, with or without an associated link. Copyright protection is not just about attribution, it is about control. If you can limit your copying appropriately, you may survive under a fair use analysis; but you need to hire a lawyer with experience in copyright litigation to vet your notions of what is "a small amount" etc.

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    No because the law also contains an exemption for an archive which is what achive.org is. The Google question is not unrelated, it is distinguishable: the OP is not asking "Why isn't Google in trouble", he is asking "Can I do this thing that is different from what Google does". Unless you are archive.org, you can't just copy a web page and add a link, saying "Here's that's on that web page".
    – user6726
    Commented May 2, 2020 at 18:54
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    @user6726 you are correct that is what I am asking.
    – FutureCake
    Commented May 2, 2020 at 20:56
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    "unless you are archive.org..." might be more precisely stated as "unless you are doing the same thing archive.org is doing...."
    – phoog
    Commented May 2, 2020 at 22:12
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    @grovkin soliciting people to make copies for a certain limited purpose is not the same as granting them a license to make copies for any other purpose.
    – phoog
    Commented May 2, 2020 at 22:13
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    @grovkin you absolutely do get to specify a purpose when you serve a web page: the allowed purpose is distributing the content over the network and viewing it. My point is that allowing reproduction for the purpose of serving a web page to a browser -- which is implicit in publishing a web page -- does not imply any additional permission to copy the page. If it did, media companies would be unable to protect their paywalled content from people who buy it and republish it.
    – phoog
    Commented May 2, 2020 at 23:57

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