Sunday, April 22, 2018

iami1 printed blogbook when sold at some (above-zero) price: My analysis of copyright issues with usage of Wikipedia content in it

Last updated on 24th April 2018

Note: An improved version of this post has been put up here:

This post gives my analysis of copyright matters about Wikipedia and Wikiquote content used in my iami1 printed blogbook which may be sold for a (above-zero) price with profit for printer, distributor (if any) and seller BUT NOT-FOR-PROFIT for author (Ravi S. Iyer - me). To see the for-print version soft copy of iami1 blogbook, please visit

Max Planck related quotes on back cover of iami1 blogbook

India's Copyright Act can be viewed online here: has CHAPTER V, TERM OF COPYRIGHT. It has number points (sections?).

Point (section) 22 deals with "Term of copyright in published literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works." My reading of it is that it deals with work published in the lifetime of the author. And it is 60 years from year following year of death of author (and, in case of joint authors, year of death of last author).

Point (section) 24 deals with "Term of copyright in posthumous work". My reading of it is that 60 years is the term of copyright from year following the year in which the work was first published.

Max Planck died in 1947 (over 70 years ago).

"I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness." was given in wikiquote,, earlier (otherwise I would not have mentioned it as the source in my blog post dated Nov. 2012, last modified on Dec. 2013), but is not mentioned in it now.

Did some Google search for the quote. lists it with the source being The Observer (25 January 1931) which seems to have been mentioned in wikiquote. provides the same quote with the source being, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931.

"Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve." lists the above quote with the source as: Where is Science Going? (1932).

More than 60 years have passed since the date of the above two publications (both in the 1930s). So these two short quotes of Max Planck that I have put up on the back cover page of my iami1 blogbook are in the public domain, and so I am well within copyright law of India in publishing the quotes on the cover back page of my book.

Copyright matters about re-use of Wikipedia content in iami1 book

Given below are extracts from iami1 blogbook 18th April 2018 version/date:

CC-BY-SA (additional) license for few pages in this book

The following articles/posts in this book use significant amount of text extracts from wikipedia and wikiquotes:
1) Conversation on 'secular parenting' & religion between USA scientist & Indian technologist
2) Some Famous Scientists’ Views on God and Limits of Science
3) Why I shy away from comparisons between Physics theories like Higgs field and deep spiritual philosophy like Vedanta?

Note that Wikiquotes' Terms of Use link at the bottom of its main page,, leads to, which states that "You are free to:" .. "Share and Reuse our articles and other media under free and open licenses."

Further, going by guidelines provided in, the above articles are licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license (CC-BY-SA),, in addition to my Free Reuse specification (for MY CONTENT alone) given at the beginning of the book. In case of any conflict between the two licenses/reuse specifications for these articles/posts in this book, the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license (CC-BY-SA) license should be applied (override the Free Reuse specification).

Therefore my above mentioned articles/posts in this book having significant content from wikipedia and wikiquotes, I think, satisfy the conditions laid down by wikipedia and wikiquotes for sharing its content.

There may be some other articles/posts in this book which use extracts of a few sentences from wikipedia. I think that is covered under Copyright Fair Use laws and so I have not applied the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license (CC-BY-SA) for those articles/posts.

--- end extact of iami1 blogbook content (related to Wikipedia content reuse) ----

The Wikipedia Terms of Use page,, states
"You are free to:".."Read and Print our articles and other media free of charge." So printing of any Wikipedia page extracts without paying Wikipedia is explicitly permitted by Wikipedia.

Note that encourages reuse of Wikipedia content. It states, "There are many reusers of Wikipedia's content, and more are welcome. If you want to use Wikipedia's text materials in your own books/articles/web sites or other publications, you can generally do so, but you must comply with one of the licenses that Wikipedia's text is licensed under."

Now the key parts of the compliance of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License,, that Wikipedia uses, and the way I think I have mostly met that compliance in the iami1 blogbook, are:

a) Attribution: - A relevant extract from is given below:

Re-use of text under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike
To re-distribute a text page in any form, provide credit to the authors either by including a) a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to the page or pages you are re-using, b) a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to an alternative, stable online copy which is freely accessible, which conforms with the license, and which provides credit to the authors in a manner equivalent to the credit given on this website, or c) a list of all authors. (Any list of authors may be filtered to exclude very small or irrelevant contributions.) This applies to text developed by the Wikipedia community. Text from external sources may attach additional attribution requirements to the work, which should be indicated on an article's face or on its talk page. For example, a page may have a banner or other notation indicating that some or all of its content was originally published somewhere else. Where such notations are visible in the page itself, they should generally be preserved by re-users.
--- end extract from ---

I think I have met this requirement by always providing the link to the Wikipedia page from which I have taken extracts. I have also provided attribution information to external sources where applicable in the Wikipedia extracts I have used in my iami1 blogbook, barring a few exception cases where the Wikipedia page seems to not have the corresponding extract now and I could not locate other websites having the same extract contents. As I have met this requirement, to the best of my knowledge, I think it protects me (the author & self-publisher), the printer, the distributor (if any) and the seller from any copyright infringement complaints.

b) Share Alike: "If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same, similar or a compatible license." - To be on the safe side, I have applied the same CC-BY-SA license to the above mentioned 3 articles/posts in the iami1 blogbook which significantly use Wikipedia extracts. So I have complied with this compliance requirement.

c) Notice: "For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do that is with a link to". - As I have reused the same license and given the link of the license, for the above mentioned 3 articles/posts in the iami1 blogbook which significantly use Wikipedia extracts, I think I have complied with this compliance requirement.

Fair Use

Now about Fair Use for articles/posts in the iami1 blogbook which use extracts of a few sentences from Wikipedia. Note that USA law is used by Wikipedia itself. So we need to look at USA Fair Use law. Given below are extracts from

Fair use is a doctrine in the law of the United States that permits limited use of copyrighted material without having to first acquire permission from the copyright holder. Fair use is one of the limitations to copyright intended to balance the interests of copyright holders with the public interest in the wider distribution and use of creative works by allowing as a defense to copyright infringement claims certain limited uses that might otherwise be considered infringement.

U.S. fair use factors

Examples of fair use in United States copyright law include commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, and scholarship. Fair use provides for the legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work under a four-factor test.
[Ravi: The extract below relates to a USA law (statute) and is on the wiki page too. But I have chosen to pick it up from the source mentioned by the wiki page which is ]

17 U.S. Code § 107 - Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

[--end extract from ---- end-Ravi]

[Extracts from Wiki page continue below.]

1. Purpose and character of the use

The first factor is "the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes." To justify the use as fair, one must demonstrate how it either advances knowledge or the progress of the arts through the addition of something new.


2. Nature of the copyrighted work

Although the Supreme Court has ruled that the availability of copyright protection should not depend on the artistic quality or merit of a work, fair use analyses consider certain aspects of the work to be relevant, such as whether it is fictional or non-fictional.


3. Amount and substantiality

The third factor assesses the amount and substantiality of the copyrighted work that has been used. In general, the less that is used in relation to the whole, the more likely the use will be considered fair.


4. Effect upon work's value

The fourth factor measures the effect that the allegedly infringing use has had on the copyright owner's ability to exploit his original work. The court not only investigates whether the defendant's specific use of the work has significantly harmed the copyright owner's market, but also whether such uses in general, if widespread, would harm the potential market of the original. The burden of proof here rests on the copyright owner, who must demonstrate the impact of the infringement on commercial use of the work.

--- end wiki extracts ---

My articles/posts in the iami1 printed blogbook which use extracts of a few sentences from Wikipedia, I think, surely conform to Fair Use as above mentioned USA Fair Use law. The iami1 printed blogbook may profit printers, distributors and sellers though it is NOT-FOR-PROFIT for me, the author. But even looking at the for-profit situation, the amount of extracts used (condition 3) in an article/post being only a few sentences, makes it 'Fair Use'. Further it does not harm the value of the free Wikipedia pages from which the extracts have been taken, as the monetary value/price charged for users/viewers to see these Wikipedia pages is free to start with. It may only popularize the Wikipedia pages and lead to more people visiting these pages and perhaps then lead to some of these people donating to Wikipedia, an organization that I presume is sustained by donations.

So I think those articles/posts in my iami1 printed blogbook (some copies of which will be sold for some price by some sellers (if some buyers show interest in buying it)) that use few sentences from Wikipedia pages come well within USA Fair Use laws, and so do not need to have a Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license like the earlier mentioned posts/articles that use significant amount of Wikipedia content.

License/Permission for printing Wikipedia content

Here are some specific statements from Wikipedia about free license/permission to print Wikipedia content and even sell it for a price. From

Wikipedia articles may be freely copied and sold commercially so long as publishers adhere to the terms of the copyright license under which the content is made available.

Publishers are allowed to sell copies of Wikipedia, and consumers, if they so choose, are allowed to pay for what they could get at no charge through the Wikimedia Foundation's websites.


Wikipedia articles can be purchased in book form from third-party publishers. Wikipedia content may also be integrated into larger commercially available books. Publishers that do so are required to adhere to the relevant copyright licenses (such as attributing article authors) but are not restricted in any way from charging for the work. They are not obliged to actively inform purchasers beforehand that the content of these books has been taken from Wikipedia, or to inform contributors that their work is being used.

--- end extracts from wiki ----

Ravi: From the above it is clear that printing wikipedia content extracts in my iami1 printed blogbook which may be sold for a price, is allowed by Wikipedia. For attribution, I have given the relevant Wikipedia link from which the content has been taken. I have additionally provided external source attribution information in the case of some extracts that I have used from Wikipedia (if they have been taken by Wikipedia from external sources).

The Wikipedia extracts in this post are licensed under Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license,

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