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Can I create my own book from forum posts?

kurt
Posts: 378
Joined: 10 May 11
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Can I create my own book from forum posts?

I had this idea that I could create my own product (book) on a topic without having to actually write any of it myself. I thought I could go to online forums on my topic and gather the material for my book from posts on the forums. Are there any rules or laws against doing this? Would you have to get permission first from the authors of these posts? I can't imagine anybody having a problem with it. If they ever read my book they would probably be happy to see that one of their posts ended up in it. I just wanted to make sure first that it was okay to do this so it doesn't backfire on me.

Thanks

(I might have asked about this before, but I can't remember and since they've changed this site I can't figure out how to do a search for all of my previous posts.)
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cecille.l
Posts: 6940
Joined: 25 Feb 11
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Hi Kurt,

As with any paper or article, online or off, you need to cite your sources. If you use someone's response in a forum, then you need to get the exact page on that forum that response is in. Some forum members may prefer not to have their responses included in your book, so you need to inform both forum and the member that you would be quoting them on your book. Some may say this is unnecessary, but I think being on the safe side is much better than facing DMCA charges or worst.

(I might have asked about this before, but I can't remember and since they've changed this site I can't figure out how to do a search for all of my previous posts.)


>>> You can click on your Username and you will see all the recent posts you made. You can also use the Search bar on the top right.

Hope that helps. Have a good day!
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Cecille


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aletta
Posts: 3719
Joined: 09 Jul 06
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My favourite recipe book is a collection of recipes from old old old recipe books. The reason it's OK is because the author has added her own stories into it, her own comments on the recipes, her own tips and variations. That's added value. (And incidentally here's the book if you want to learn how to make a mean Louise Cake.]

If I paid good money for a book that was just a bunch of quotes from forums around the internet without any original discussion / commentary / curator's notes or anything else that added value.... I would be pretty annoyed, and I would probably ask for a refund.

If you're not too good at writing, this is when you outsource. You could point the writer you hire in the general direction of the forum posts you're talking about and suggest them as good places to start research.

Copying directly... it's too brazen. Not so much because it'll annoy the writers of the forum posts, but if the readers figure it out, they'll be peeved.
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tankctrlr
Posts: 263
Joined: 16 Oct 09
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I don't know, but what you're planning on doing sounds like it would violate either the websites copyrights or the writer's, I would ask them both first before doing anything.

Or just rewrite what you learn from these posts and put your own spin on it like Aletta said.
You can have a writer do it for you, just hand over all the relevant posts and tell them to create the book out of these resources, they'll take them and apply their knowledge of the subject, which they have built up over the years and can even add style and character to it as well. You can find qualified writers all over the place including in forum signatures.
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kurt
Posts: 378
Joined: 10 May 11
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Ok, thanks guys. Actually I've realized that I do have a lot I can talk about on my topic. I also know why certain forum post appeal to me, so I guess I could either paraphrase them or quote them and add commentary to them. So, I figure I'll try to write about 70% of my book myself and get the other 30% from forum posts. I'll make sure to either paraphrase them or quote them with their permission. .

Thanks
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This topic was started on Aug 10, 2013 and has been closed due to inactivity. If you want to discuss this topic further, please create a new forum topic.