I'm building an education related product with some friends and we're planning on using exercises we find on various books for the guides.

Our question is if the math exercises belong to them and nobody else can use them (since every books states "Partial or complete reproduction of the book is illegal").

Research: I understand very little about laws, but for what I understand I believe "pure math" is not patentable, and a math exercise should be considered pure math. Am I right?

Looking forward to see what more savvy users have to say!

Thanks, S.


You are confusing some things. Patents don't come into play here at all, your problem is all about copyright.

If I write something, anything, then I have the copyright on that work, and you may not copy it without my permission. This applies to my post here, for example, and to math exercises that you find in a book. "Reproduction is illegal" isn't any contract between the author and you, it's a polite reminder that there is copyright law that doesn't allow you to copy the book or parts.

Just write your own exercises. Don't even think about copying someone else's. Do the work yourself. Don't try to profit from someone else's work.

  • Thanks man. The thing is the following... We sell media, not exercises. We were wondering if we could get into trouble if we provided tests including exercises from math books we use at school. We're not writing a math book and pretending to copy other authors work.. Don't you worry :) Thanks for the answer anyways! – Santiago Baigorria Feb 16 '16 at 3:52

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