Did I illegally post copyrighted material?

Unbeknownst to me, I just violated (per SDMB member [bpPadeye**) the copyright laws in my GQ thread: F-4 Phantom vs. F-18 Super Hornet.

My understanding is that “brief excerpts” are okay. I posted, IIRC, four paragraphs of material, from an Australian university physics department. I thought this was hunky-dory until Padeye suggested that posting the entirety of a brief webpage is inappropriate.

Hate to beat a dead horse, but what’s the legal ruling on this?

Not to obfuscate, but who holds this particular copyright–the particular faculty member who makes the post, the university department, or the taxpayers/government who fund their work? (Exxon, for instance, holds the copyright/patent to work done by their employees, so doesn’t it follow that the taxpayers/government hold the copyright?)

P.S. I’ve already alerted all 3 moderators re: my error. My apologies.

My experience has always been that in any matter of this kind, asking three different lawyers will result in getting three similar but different answers.

As far as copyright laws go I can’t help you. I would suggest though that instead of copying and pasting something, you rephrase it in your own words and post a link.

In addition to Arnold’s comments, it’s worth a reminder that we tend to be MORE scrupulous than the strict legal distinctions. We don’t want people stealing our stuff, and so we don’t want to be seen as stealing stuff from others – even if it was technically legally justifiable.

Wise words indeed. Thanks for the perspective from the top. :slight_smile: