Legal Question in Intellectual Property in Virginia

fair use educational

U.S. citizen, living and working in Singapore, wants to use ''customer's reports'' (= mini book reviews) posted on Amazon.com and other websites, for 30-pp scholarly publication. Academic journal that publishes my work may be one published in U.S. or overseas; depends who likes the article. Whichever way that goes, journal will presumably be available worldwide. I will not be paid for this article.

So: who owns cyber-posted remarks when website is commercial and when it isn't; do I need permission from posters who provide names and city/state addresses (all U.S.) and do I need permission from sites?

Helpful: what laws apply to my scholarship while I'm U.S. citizen employed by non-U.S. university trying to publish in U.S. scholarly journals, info taken from the 'net?

And: what, finally, are the rules for ''fair use educational'' use of things other people (professionals or not) have posted on the 'net (not written elsewhere previously?

thanks -

Asked on 7/18/05, 2:23 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael Stone Law Offices of Michael B. Stone Toll Free 1-855-USE-MIKE
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Re: fair use educational

I would not use the "book reviews" on Amazon for two reasons: One, many people believe they are bogus/written by shills; and two, Amazon is a very litigious company and might sue you even if what you are doing constitutes "fair use." I would look for the same type of material elsewhere. And the best way to use anything authored by someone else is to ask for, and obtain, permission!

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7/18/05, 11:06 am

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