I am currently creating an online dictionary. All of my information is coming from hard copy dictionaries that I have found online in PDF form and other PDFs which I am not sure where the information came from. One dictionary that I am positive has a hard copy (as I own it) is this: http://www.amazon.com/Comprehensive-Manchu-English-Dictionary-Harvard-Yenching-Institute/dp/0674072138

What do I need to do to use this on a website? Do I need permission? can I just put some type of works cited page?

any help would be great.

The dictionary is located here http://www.domdit.com/buleku

2 Answers 2


Assuming the dictionaries are copyright (which, unless they are very old they almost certainly will be) what you are doing is creating a derivative work. You need the permission of the copyright holder to do this unless you have a fair use/fair dealing defense. You probably don't.


If you take a substantial amount from the works (as you describe), then you follow the licence, or breach copy-write.

Have you considered sources with a licence approved by the Free Software Foundation http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html or the Open Source Initiative https://opensource.org/ Or maybe Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/ but beware the non commercial licenses (they can cause a lot of unexpected trouble).

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