I would like to share a news article on an SE site, in its entirety if possible. I recently included in a post a news article from a university site (U.S. university) with its original title, proper attribution, and a clear link to the original source, and its body in blockquotes.

It was suggested to me doing so might have some copyright issues. I would like to know if that is indeed the case and if so what would be a kosher way to share the piece.

I was hesitant to cut passages out of it and I'd like to keep its integrity mostly because I found several places in the article of interest and of consequence to wider discussions. Given that my purpose is to share the information in that news piece and discuss the content on a public site, could this be considered fair use?

1 Answer 1


Probably not. It sounds like you've copied the complete work without any meaningful transformation. You've reduced the market for the original work by hosting your own copy. The fact that your purpose "is to share the information" doesn't really do you any good, as that is also the purpose of the original work. You're almost certainly outside fair-use territory.

If you're looking for a "kosher" way to do this, the generally accepted practice is to link to the article and either paraphrase or excerpt the most relevant portions.

That said, the fact that this piece came from a university may help you out. If it's a public university, it may be that its "news" articles are actually public records and not protected by copyright.

For more information on how to run a fair-use analysis, see the answer here.

  • Thanks! Great answer. I am familiar with fair use assessment in academic settings, and I weigh the four factors as you suggest in that answer. I thought a news piece would be okay because from what I understand news is set apart as non-fiction. This site suggests: "Although non-fiction works such as biographies and news articles are protected by copyright law, their factual nature means that one may rely more heavily on these items and still enjoy the protections of fair use."
    – Eddie Kal
    Nov 12, 2020 at 3:10
  • 1
    Yes, you may rely more heavily, but I think that most courts would agree that complete reproduction is relying too heavily.
    – bdb484
    Nov 12, 2020 at 4:35
  • @EddieKal: The factual nature of those works makes it easier to retell the facts in your own words. Since the underlying facts aren't copyrighted, just the words, the retelling is safe.
    – MSalters
    Nov 12, 2020 at 11:57
  • The Cornell Daily Sun's website does not state what formal or legal relationship it has with Cornell University, so I don't understand why that article would be a "public record". I have found no evidence that the article is copyrighted by the university as such.
    – Tsundoku
    Nov 12, 2020 at 19:18
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    Ah. Cornell is not a public university, so that portion of my answer would not apply. Even if it were, my understanding is that the Daily Sun is independent, so the copyright should belong to it or the author, rather than university.
    – bdb484
    Nov 14, 2020 at 6:27

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