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SA Summarising Other Authors' Ideas in Book - No Copyright Breach?

Discussion in 'Intellectual Property Law Forum' started by Luke7, 28 May 2015.

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  1. Luke7

    Luke7 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve just finished writing my first book. I won’t reveal too much, but the book is on marketing, copywriting and consumer psychology.

    To better illuminate some psychological principles early in the book, I have decided to include an appendix on segmenting constituents based on their personality traits in order to better deliver marketing messages that resonate with their ways of thinking and their buying habits.

    The appendix in question is essentially a summary of ideas from the book “You are What You Choose” by Scott De Marchi and James T. Hamilton. Now, I have given full credit to the authors, and I was very careful to make it very clear that these ideas are theirs and not mine. In addition I put their ideas into my own words so as not to infringe their copyright.

    Based on what I know about plagiarism and copyright laws I should be safe. Am I correct in making that assumption?

    The other issue is the fact that I feel as though I have revealed the essence of their ideas, the actual gold that makes their book so valuable to marketers – although there are many subtleties to their ideas that I did not mention. Is this legal? Suppose they weren't happy about this? Would they have a legal case against me?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Luke7,

    Copyright protection in Australia protects the original expression of ideas not the ideas themselves, it doesn't protect the holder against independent creation of a similar work. Therefore core concepts or ideas of others can be used, however crediting to the source of your ideas as you have done is the ethical thing to do.
     
  3. Luke7

    Luke7 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Luke7,

    I agree with Sophea, sounds like what you are doing is okay as long as you are not copying sentences from the book without attribution and their consent. You can summarise the book's main ideas even if it takes away from the main gist of the book. There are applications out there that specifically do this (summarise long books so you don't have to read the book to get the main idea from the book). However, like Sophea has suggested, do attribute the original sources.
     
  5. Luke7

    Luke7 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Sarah. I'm now pretty confident that what I've done is both ethical and very unlikely to infringe any copyright laws.
     

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