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Re: Ethics of reusing vendor's help material -- copyright issue or commonplace practice?
Subject:Re: Ethics of reusing vendor's help material -- copyright issue or commonplace practice? From:Sean Wheller <sean -at- inwords -dot- co -dot- za> To:techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com Date:Mon, 7 Aug 2006 15:03:41 +0200
On Monday 07 August 2006 12:57, Tom Johnson wrote:
> Is it commonplace or questionable to reuse a vendor's help material nearly
> verbatim to customize a smaller guide more focused on our audience?
> For example, our company recently purchased software that comes with a 384
> page user guide. Our users will only need about 40 pages of this. I want to
> copy these 40 pages, change it a little to fit with our style guide, and
> brand it without own documentation template. However, I plan to leave the
> wording and screenshots mostly as is.
> If we've purchased this software, is it still a copyright issue? Even if
> so, is it common practice in the tech comm. field to do this? Any
> recommendations for me?
In some cases it may be legal. For example, the software vendor may release
manuals under an open license such as one of the Creative Commons.
Even under a closed license you can quote from, so long as you provide
attribution and acknowledge the originator of the book.
When in doubt, ask.
Ask me about the Monkey.
sean -at- inwords -dot- co -dot- za
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