Publishing a 50 page summary of a textbook?
November 10, 2011 9:20 AM Subscribe
Does producing and publishing a free "Cliffnotes" type document sound legal?
posted by Buckt to Law & Government (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have been reading a fairly technical textbook for the last few months and taking detailed notes along the way. Now that I have these notes, I thought that I might type them up and publish them as a free kindle document, which could be read independently or as a companion to the textbook. I figure it will be a good writing exercise and help me to solidify all that I've just learned - plus it might make a nice bullet point on a resume.
Absolutely none of the information in the "book," which will be maybe 40 or 50 pages tops, will be mine. I will follow the format of the current textbook, paraphrasing and simplifying things, and re-sketch the significant graphs onto paper then scan them into the document. I will of course give full credit of where the information came from, and I won't directly take any images or use text verbatim - but I will paraphrase and re-draw.
Does that sound legal? Should I try (likely fail) to get permission of the publisher?
I'm not looking for formal legal advice and I'm obviously not going to hold anyone here accountable for what they tell me. I just want to know if it's "yes, that sounds 100% definitely fine" versus "you might get yelled at" category. If there's any risk, I'll just try (fail) to get the author's permission & move on.