Using dictionary examples in the book – is it fair use?

Asked by: Nathan Leon

If you write a book about dictionaries, then giving an illustrative example would be fair use, but using the work and money of those scholars and institutions that created the dictionary because you are unable or unwilling to find or create your own example sentences is copyright infringement.

Can I use dictionary definitions in my book?

Briefly, there is a low threshold for copyright eligibility. Dictionary definitions are fixed in a tangible form and they are-at times arguably-original. If an idea simply cannot be expressed in another way, its expression is not copyrightable.

Are dictionary definitions fair use?

Judge Indira Talwani, who addressed the four fair use factors out of the traditional order, held that the textbook dictionary was not a fair use: Nature of the Work. Although the dictionary was based in fact, the definitions chosen by Merriam Webster were the result of a creative process.

Is dictionary A copyright material?

Every dictionary is copyrighted. You are, of course, free to use all the words in the dictionary, and older editions may be out of copyright due to age. But copying more than a short passage from a current dictionary will be infringement.

Is a dictionary considered a book?

Dictionaries are most commonly found in the form of a book, but some newer dictionaries, like StarDict and the New Oxford American Dictionary are dictionary software running on PDAs or computers. There are also many online dictionaries accessible via the Internet.

Do you have to quote the dictionary?

You do not always need to cite and reference a dictionary definition. Whether you need to or not will depend on the type of dictionary and/or how you are using the definition in your work.

Are Webster definitions copyrighted?

No part of the work embodied in Merriam-Webster’s pages on the World Wide Web and covered by the copyrights hereon may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means–graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems–without the written permission of …

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What are examples of fair use?

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.

What are the 4 fair use exceptions to copyright?

Since copyright law favors encouraging scholarship, research, education, and commentary, a judge is more likely to make a determination of fair use if the defendant’s use is noncommercial, educational, scientific, or historical.

What are the 4 factors of fair use?

The four factors of fair use:

  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes. …
  • The nature of the copyrighted work. …
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.

What type of book is a dictionary?

Most Dictionaries and encyclopedias are nonfiction because they contain facts about words. Travel books such as an atlas are nonfiction.

Is a book like a dictionary?

Answer. A reference book that contains synonyms and antonyms is called a ‘thesaurus.

Are dictionaries descriptive or prescriptive?


Dictionaries that record and catalogue the language thus cannot ever be prescriptive; they must always be entirely descriptive, telling of the language as it is, not as it should be.

Is the dictionary descriptive?

Descriptive Dictionaries

The truth of the matter is that today virtually all English language dictionaries are descriptive. The editors will usually say that they are simply recording the language and how its words are used and spelled.

What is the example of dictionary?

The definition of a dictionary is an online or printed resource that lists words in alphabetical order, listing the meaning, pronunciation and part of speech for the word. An example of dictionary is An example of dictionary is Webster’s New World College Dictionary.

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What are the 2 types of dictionaries?

There are many types of dictionaries:

  • Generic English language dictionaries – these are monolingual dictionaries, which are dictionaries that provide a definition in English.
  • Bilingual dictionaries such as the Collins English–French Dictionary.

What is a dictionary used for?

In addition to its basic function of defining words, a dictionary may provide information about their pronunciation, grammatical forms and functions, etymologies, syntactic peculiarities, variant spellings, and antonyms.

Why do we use a dictionary?

Dictionaries can help you in your reading and writing, and to improve your vocabulary. A dictionary can be used to look up the meaning of a word. You can also use a dictionary to check the spelling of a word. Dictionaries may also give other information about words, such as word type and word origin.

What is a book of words called?

wordbook. / (ˈwɜːdˌbʊk) / noun. a book containing words, usually with their meanings. a libretto for an opera.

What are the 5 parts of a book?

These five components are: the characters, the setting, the plot, the conflict, and the resolution. These essential elements keep the story running smoothly and allow the action to develop in a logical way that the reader can follow.

What’s the best dictionary?

Oxford Word of the Year 2021

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world.

What is it called when you read the back of the book?

A blurb is a short promotional piece accompanying a piece of creative work. It may be written by the author or publisher or quote praise from others. Blurbs were originally printed on the back or rear dust jacket of a book, and are now also found on web portals and news websites.

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What is back matter in a book?

Back matter is the stuff at the end of your book, displayed after the main content of the book are finished. Common types of back matter in books include conclusions, appendices, bibliographies, glossaries, contributor lists, sources, suggested reading, epilogues, afterwords, and author’s notes.

What is the binding of a book?

Book Binding, also known as Book Bindery, is the process of assembling and securing written or printed pages within a cover. In most cases, the cover is thicker than the interior pages to provide durability to the finished book. Some of the more popular Book Binding methods include… 1) Saddle Stitching.

What goes on the copyright page of a book?

The long copyright page should include the following:

  • A copyright notice and year. …
  • Rights reserved notice. …
  • ISBN. …
  • Library of Congress Control Number. …
  • Disclaimer. …
  • Permissions notice. …
  • Credits to editors, photographers, and illustrators. …
  • Country of printer/printing edition.

Where does a disclaimer go in a book?

Where Would a Disclaimer Go in a Book? If you choose to include a disclaimer in your book, it will go on the copyright page. Generally, it will appear at the bottom of that page, after all the actual copyright and printing information.

What does a book copyright look like?

The main components of your copyright page are:

The copyright notice. This has the little © symbol or you can use the word “copyright.” So it would look like this: ©2018 Jane Doe. The year of publication of the book. The name of the owner of the works, which is usually the author or publishing house name.