Business and Marketing

Law: The Measurement of Copyright Fair Use – 4 Essential Subjective Guidelines

Someday you came across a copyrighted picture that goes perfectly with your own content and wanted to embed it in your texts with a link to the original source, wondering if this action was allowed by law. By your ethical holdings and legal awareness, after failure to reach the owner, you decided to take the step forward and put the asset up on your own webpage in a reduced form with appropriate credit and linked it back to the original work, hoping it constituted a fair use that would absolve you of possible copyright infringement.

So what constitutes a fair use?

It’s universally acknowledged that one is not expected to duplicate copyrighted content on the internet either entirely or in portion in the infringement of copyright laws. However, in cases of fair use, borrowing of copyrighted material may not necessarily break the code. Although unfortunately the judge is the ultimate authority on whether it is a fair use or not, there’s essentially 4 factors governing the he or she’s decision-making process.

  1. The purpose and character of your use
    Not just a same-as-source duplication, your work to use copyrighted content upon new insights, varied expressions, ascended ideas and so forth may well be considered a fair use. Whether or not you are adding value to the new work with borrowed content is an essential criterion in the determination.
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
    1) Is the work fact or fiction oriented? In light of the fact that dissemination of facts benefit the public, you could possibly make good fair uses of factual works while it is wise to keep away from novel works which is more of an intellectual product of the author.
    2) Is the work published or not yet? Publishing content the 1st time even before its author does, you are well on the way to a court lost.
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion taken
    Take as small portion or amount as possible of any original work. The less you copy the more likely you are excused of a fair use. Nevertheless you should bear in mind that the substantiality is also taken as a strong factor that you are to be convicted of copyright infringement if the copyrighted portion used in your work is considered essence or heart of the original one.
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market
    This is generally decided by the result whether the use is undermining the benefits origninal owner receives from the work. If it deprives the income he or she is expecting, it is understandable that you may trigger a lawsuit and almost undoubtedly, lose it.

As the judgement of fair uses is much too subjective and subject to the logic and perspective of the judge, it is highly advised to contact the owner or simply pay a price to get the permission required to display copyrighted work in your own. Apart from the widely accepted criteria listed above, the judge has more to resort to in the judgement of any specific case. For instance, you are more likely to lose with a site filled with advertisements and much less likely so with a non-profit educational .org.

More legal resources on fair use

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A grand new redesign – MagMania wordpress theme

Updated: added an extra style to have a taste of the lemon, aha~ Give it a try in here!

Thanks to Beccary, or this wordpress theme will never be possible. She is as inspiring as she is pretty!

mybeccary old kavoir design

MagMania is born with simplicity in mind, deprived of all bells and whistles, showing the true meaning of conciseness and striving to be as vigorous as possible. Single column it is, with Georgia as the sole font for typography, I intend to construct a theme that stands on its own feet.

magmania screenshot

However there’s more things to be done than can ever be said. I was planning to give the theme some more refinements before releasing it to public, yeah, I mean, only weird people like me love it in the current presence, don’t they. -D Moreover, the upcoming 2 weeks is doomed with toil for me cause’ it’s when the professors strain and grade us to decide which are good students and which are not. Though I have made some solid efforts this semester to get as far away from computer games as possible, I am still not in good shape in terms of exams. Ewwwww…..just so exhanstive you know, maybe I’ll never be in good shape.. 🙁 God why you made me go to college?

Forget the bullshit. Now I have prepared the page for you to download the theme, MagMania wordpress theme! Remember this is a work in progress, any suggestion would be appreciated.

Content / SEO Tips & Tutorials Google Hacks, Cheats & Tips

Link building and content development, who is the King?

Just roaming about some forums to feed myself with daily new information when I came across something worth taking a look.

Above is an interesting discussion of whether linking rules over content or the other way around. I’d say it was indeed not something I, as an SEO novice, had expected. John Scott, and quite some other participants agreed that content, despite the fact Google cried all these years about it, isn’t the King after all. All you had to do is to gain the trust of Google, which mostly, is through link building. The best content aren’t always coming in top SERPs, but those with quality backlinks.

In their defense, John Scott emphasizes Google sees and only sees links as a means of credibility and trust. Google knows quality content only by the number and type of links a page gets, so content should come second after link building. Many’s a time when a site with ordinarily mediocre content appears on the 1st SERP from Google is achieved by quality experienced link building. It also means a savvy website owner can get quicker and higher results than newcomers who build much better content.

Anchor text of links is so important that it is even considered by search engines much more important than what the linked content is originally about when it comes to ranking.

From a beginner’s perspective, combining some basic reasoning, I think content should not come second to link building. Algorithms change, and Google strives to get better results for its audiences, rather than some publishers. Because it’s ultimately the great mass audience that’s in Google’s interest simply in that they are those who view and click on Google’s ads, which still makes a great majority of its revenues. It’s just as simple as that. Google is currently basing the weight of a site too much on backlinks , but what in 2 years? You might get well ranked through some tricky link building strategies now, but it’s the content that guarantees you of the future. Though it does work well present, so your content is indexed fully and ranked decently to get more links. They are just powering each other in a sense. Either way can get you success.

Content the King, link building the Queen.

To sum up, WebGeek182 (blog)put it quite well in the discussion:

  1. Links rule for SEO. – The site with the strongest relevant link profile wins.
  2. Content rules for conversions and sales, and it breaks ties when two sites have a similarly strong link profile. – You can have all the traffic in the world, but who will buy from a site that is poorly organized, confusing, or full of crap content? To get maximum conversions and sales, your site must be compelling and easy to use. So, once you get people to your site, make sure there is something to keep them there. Also, when two sites have similarly strong link profiles, Search Engines use what I call their “Plan B” rating – they will evaluate the content, and see which is more relevant to break the tie. This doesn’t even come into play though if one site has far more (and relevant) backlinks.
  3. Bad content will make it harder to get links, and conversely, good content *can* make it easier to get links. – Who wants to link to a crappy site? On the other hand, if a site has some awesome content, design, tools, or something else that people can’t help but link to, you’ll get more links. (But only if they can find your site in the first place.)
Content / SEO Tips & Tutorials Google Hacks, Cheats & Tips

What is wrong with ‘Supplemental result’?

Many a new website such as this one, who has just made its way into Google’s database and got indexed a dozen of pages, might have quite a number of pages ‘indexed’ as ‘Supplemental result’. Use “” as the phrase in Google search, then jump to SERPs buried behind. Do you got any of these?

What is supplemental result?

If the answer is yes, don’t panic. Let’s first take a look at what it is. Supplemental result is how Google expands its crawling of the web, imbibing more pages to present more results to end users than its primary ‘main index’. So you get the idea, that ‘supplemental results’ comes from ‘supplemental index’, which places lower restraints on what to be indexed.

google supplemental result

With a popular search phrase, Google simply serves results from its main index, because there’re plenty of related results in it. Nevertheless when it’s a very specific unusual topic, Google has to turn to the ‘supplemental index’ so as to get enough stuff to show off its gigantic coverage. 🙂 For example, URLs with more than 2 dynamic parameters are very probably indexed in the ‘supplemental index’, given a very low PageRank; Content-barren pages might also end up indexed in the supplemental index, unless it dwells in some very famous website.

Is it evil? I want to get rid of them!

In addition, Google assures you that the index in which a site appears doesn’t affect your PageRank. While supplemental result looks no harm (in fact not only small and fresh websites have them, many big ones got many too), that too many supplemental results for your website is absolutely unfavorable. A keywords query answered from ‘main index’ will never have the chance to see those lousy pages in ‘supplemental result’. Although it is sometimes inevitable, you can also choose to do something about it. In order to make Google index most of your pages in its ‘main index’, bear in mind some principles:

  1. Never use dynamic URL for your content. Also prevent different URLs referring to the same page.
  2. Use unique title/description/h1/h2/h3/… on every page.
  3. Renew your content pages from time to time: make some corrections, see if there’s a typo, add a small paragraph, and so forth. For newly indexed pages, Google comes very picky on its frequency of update. Unless you got quality backlinks to them, update them once in a while.
  4. Get quality backlinks. Yes, quality ones. Don’t even bother with low-quality ones. PageRank is what ultimately determines which index includes the page. Work on it and you’ll be fine.
  5. Erase out similar pages. Google hates this, so if you have any pages with mostly the same or even identical content, delete and leave only unique ones. If it is necessary to keep identical content across pages, ask Matt Cutts if he can help you, or you can simply employ <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,follow” /> with your duplicate content. Or, you didn’t try to copy stuff from others and put on your own? Then hell to you, you are damned without a doubt.
    Making a 301 redirect from to and /index.html to ./ definitely helps.
    With wordpress as your CMS, you may want to check out uberdose’s All in One SEO Pack that automatically marks category and archive pages as ‘noindex’ so Google won’t have duplicate content of yours in index to be mad at you.
  6. One convincing page is better than one hundred small lousy pages. Take time to build unique quality content rather than stuff teeny pages to SEs.

Additional talks and tools you might find useful

  1. Supplemental Result in Google – Hell or Help
  2. View All Your Google Supplemental Index Results
  3. Infrastructure status, January 2007
  4. What’s a “supplemental result?” – Google Webmaster Central
  5. Copyscape – duplicate content search engine, see if you have multi-version pages in index. Plagiarism is afraid of Copyscape.