Regarding Copyright and Scraping Code from the Web

Joe Bell joe.bell at
Tue Oct 6 15:19:26 UTC 2009



I am one of the individuals in my company responsible for ensuring that
we are compliant to the various open source licenses we are bound by,
and I'm curious as to whether or not I am taking the right approach with
my policy towards lifting code from blogs.  There are a number of blogs
out there that contain no copyright statements or licensing terms yet
contain very useful and sometimes complex snippets of code in situ on
the web page.  It has been my policy that:


a)      whether or not there is a claim of copyright on the blog is
irrelevant, under U.S. law it is copyrighted by the author of the blog

b)      by default non-copyright holders are forbidden from copying,
distributing, or modifying the work

c)       without express claim of copyright as well as express license
terms (preferably favorable to the corporation), the code on the web
page may not in any way be copied into or used in any corporate work


To be truthful, I am sometimes surprised at the number of freelance
developers who aren't more aware of copyright law (regardless of their
national origin) and licensing, yet post code.  


To my question, do others take such an approach?  Am I being overly
sensitive and can relax the approach?  Is there some other key piece of
information I may be ignorant of that would cause me to modify it?


Best regards,


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