As a company, we are looking to comply with a specific set of standards that are protected under copyright law (think ISO).

Because of transparency requirements, we have to publish our final reports on this publicly on our website. The report reproduces some pieces of text from the copyrighted standard, as it is necessary to put the information in context.

An example could be like:

C.4.7. General

Provide optical measurements of the number of particles suspended in the air per each physical location sample.

We report the obtained measurements in the following table:

The first two lines are an extract from the copyrighted standard, followed by what would be our typical response to that particular field of data.

We worked through all the standard in such way and this led us to have large swaths of text from the standard in our final report.

Would this be an issue regarding copyright law? Or could it be considered fair use?

  • In what jurisdiction? "Fair use" exists only in US copyright law, but other jurisdictions have similar exceptions. The details differ, though, so jurisdiction matters.
    – phoog
    Aug 21, 2021 at 17:57
  • 1
    Is there a reason your company cannot consult legal professionals? Aug 22, 2021 at 11:30

2 Answers 2


It is unlikely to be fair use

Primary because this is a commercial operation and it does not quote the minimum amount of the standard required.

Why are you quoting such large amounts from the standard rather than just quoting the clause numbers and clause titles and letting the reader refer to their copy of the standard if they want more information. That’s likely to be fair use/dealing.


“We report the obtained measurements according to table 3.1.17 of Standard XYZ” would be fine if the standard is available to anyone concerned, possibly at a cost.

To avoid the cost, if you have a legitimate copy at your office, you can allow others to read it (without making a copy obviously).

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