Inquiring minds: violating copyright laws?

Each week the staff at the Roseville Library answers more than 2,500 questions on every subject under the sun. Here are some of the most interesting ones they’ve gotten lately.

Q. I’m in an e-mail discussion on a particular topic with a friend, and I would like to share some comments that I found in a book on that subject. If I were to copy a few paragraphs from this book and send it to him, would I be violating copyright laws?

A. Probably not. Copyright law generally allows for copying brief passages for educational purposes. In addition, you don’t intend to distribute these passages commercially. You just want support for the point you’re making to your friend. It’s a good idea to give credit to the author when you send the passages, however. You can find out much more about copyright law with one of the many good books on the subject that the Library owns. Check our online catalog or ask a librarian for more help.

(Library procedures.)

Do you have a question for the staff at the Roseville Library? You can call them at 628-6803 or ask your question in person at the Information Desk, Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave. Library hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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