CaptainFlatulance, you are invited to the Teahouse!
Wikipedia and copyright
Hello CaptainFlatulance, and welcome to Wikipedia. While we appreciate your contributing to Wikipedia, there are certain things you must keep in mind about using information from your sources to avoid copyright or plagiarism issues here.
- You can only copy/translate a small amount of a source, and you must mark what you take as a direct quotation with double quotation marks (") and a cited source. You can read about this at Wikipedia:Non-free content in the sections on "text". See also Help:Referencing for beginners, for how to cite sources here.
- Aside from limited quotation, you must put all information in your own words and structure, in proper paraphrase. Following the source's words too closely can create copyright problems, so it is not permitted here; see Wikipedia:Close paraphrasing. (There is a college-level introduction to paraphrase, with examples, hosted by the Online Writing Lab of Purdue.) Even when using your own words, you are still, however, asked to cite your sources to verify information and to demonstrate that the content is not original research.
- Our primary policy on using copyrighted content is Wikipedia:Copyrights. You may also want to review Wikipedia:Copy-paste.
- If you own the copyright to the source you want to copy or are a designated agent, you may be able to license that text so that we can publish it here. However, there are steps that must be taken to verify that license before you do. See Wikipedia:Donating copyrighted materials.
- In very rare cases (that is, for sources that are public domain or compatibly licensed), it may be possible to include greater portions of a source text. However, please seek help at the help desk before adding such content to the article. 99.9% of sources may not be added in this way, so it is necessary to seek confirmation first. If you do confirm that a source is public domain or compatibly licensed, you will still need to provide full attribution; see Wikipedia:Plagiarism for the steps you need to follow.
- Also note that Wikipedia articles may not be copied without attribution. If you want to copy from another Wikipedia project or article, you can, but please follow the steps in Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia.
It's very important that contributors understand and follow these practices, as policy requires that people who persistently do not must be blocked from editing. If you have any questions about this, you are welcome to leave me a message on my talk page.