Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Copying New York Times for GRE Purposes

Dear Rich: I have developed a website to help GRE examinees. The site is non-profit and all the materials are public (no registration is needed). For improving reading comprehension, I'm scraping GRE-level articles from various new agencies like nytimes.com and mark the GRE words in their text and show the article to the users. The source of the articles are included on the bottom of the page. I don't have any financial purpose for this site. I fear that maybe I'm infringing the copyright law. Listen to your fears because it sounds like you are infringing regardless of your "educational" purpose, financial motives, or desire to provide attribution. You might be able to excuse your infringement by claiming a fair use defense but we don't think you'll succeed because it sounds like you're reproducing complete articles, and because your use, although slightly transformative, probably doesn't tip the four fair use factors strongly in favor of a solid defense (keep in mind that the New York Times charges for its articles or limits access to them).  News syndicates like the New York Times, AP and others, seek to halt practices that use their content for other purposes. So unless you maintain a low profile, chances are fair-to-good --  considering the piracy detection software that's available -- that at some point you'll find a cease and desist letter in your mailbox.