I'm afraid to sound uncouth, but what is our policy as for sharing resources, namely copyrighted books in PDF? How much of a book is it OK to share? Can I share screenshots or just text?
As for me, I'd share everything I have including complete books. Especially Soviet books, since the USSR denied all the copyright. Or am I missing something and there's an article in the SE rules I overlooked?


1 Answer 1


Since I haven't seen any other responses yet:

My rule of thumb is that approximately one page of not-freely-available text is fine. Clearly, some amount of quotation is necessary for educational purposes, and distributing entire copyrighted books for free would cause legal problems for the site. And my understanding (though I am very much not a lawyer) is that there's no hard limit defined in the law, but a page is usually considered acceptable.

At this point, the moderators haven't been deleting questions or answers that have excessive quotations, and we haven't run into any legal issues yet; if there's a network-wide rule on this, I don't know it. But I'm not opposed to coming up with a firmer policy on this, just in case.

(Of course, this is specifically for resources that are not freely available. If a work is open-access, public domain, available in a preprint database, or otherwise accessible, I see no reason to forbid putting it here.)

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