Can I copy text from someone else’s website?

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Needless to say, it is never a good idea to steal someone else’s copyrighted material. Anything that has a strong “author’s voice” should not be copied under any circumstances.

However, there are common situations where informational content can be “repurposed” with modifications. It is not always necessary to start with a blank screen when preparing your website content.

For example, if you are a CPA, you might find a good description of tax information for the current year. Copying a large block of text with no changes is not a good idea. But you can easily re-arrange, edit/modify or re-word smaller portions of the text to make it your own.

Here are some ideas to repurpose existing content in a new way:

– break long paragraphs into shorter ones
– break sentences into bullet points
– re-arrange the order of sentences in a paragraph
– find a different way of saying the same thing
– add headings to sections of text
– remove unnecessary text

By doing so, you can create written content that contains the same information as the original, but formats it in a different way, and is not a pure copy.

Always use your best judgement, and do not repurpose any content that doesn’t feel right.

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