• E-book and copyrights violations

There are books published by a local publisher which has all previous semester exam questions with their answers. This is specifically for Engineering. I would like to create an eBook similar to that and release it for free with ads for revenue generation. I have some details to present before asking questions. I would like to use mathematical equations as images & theoretical concepts as text data.

1. These books have both mathematical and theoretical content. 
2. We have various app which can be used to create images of mathematical equations. 
3. Previously I thought the theoretical content was directly copied from other publisher's books, but I was wrong.
4. The publisher modified the theoretical content to simplify it for students.
5. The circuit diagrams and other diagrams used in theoretical concepts may have been customized as well for simplicity.

Questions:
1. If a mathematical question has an answer, can anyone claim copyright on the answer? For example, a mathematical questions like "Find whether the following system of equations are consistent. If so, solve them: 2x - y + z = 5; 3x + y - 2z = -1; x - 3y - z = 2". 
2. I cannot imagine this question being answered any differently than what is stated in the syllabus. Sure the explanation of the answer may be slightly different like instead of writing "Adding equation (1), (2) & (3)", I may write "Adding equation (A), (B) & (C)". But is this even necessary?
3. Since we have a software which can generate images of mathematical equations, can I simply scan the mathematical equation and use it? Can I say that I got the image created instead of saying I copied it directly?
4. If I can use the scanned image of the equations from the book, what modifications are required from me to be able to use the scanned images?
5. Theoretical content is simply scientific concepts. For example, "Describe Laue's method for the determination of crystal structure." or "What are Brillouin zones? Explain using E-K diagrams". The concept is the same in almost any engineering book you choose, but can I use same exact content from this book in my ebook as well?
6. Since the theoretical concepts have diagrams as well, can I use the same diagrams?
7. Do I need the permission of the publisher for this? Can I do this without their permission since it is not their original content and they must have referenced other engineering books to draft this content?
8. If I need to modify the content to be able to use it, what should be the scale of modification? 60%, 70%, 90%?

If i cannot get answers in a response to this question, can I have a call to get my doubts clarified?
Asked 1 year ago in Intellectual Property from Mumbai, Maharashtra
Hi,you have to create E- Book for the welfare of the student with free of cost and it is used for academic purpose so question of copy right violation does not arise.
Pradeep Bharathipura
Advocate, Bangalore
4105 Answers
133 Consultations
4.3 on 5.0
1. No copyright can be claimed on the answer to a mathematical question. No liability for copyright infringement can be mounted even if the equation has not been modified. The scope of copyright in mathematics is very limited and narrow.

2. The scanned images can be used without modification.

3. Unless the language used to explain the theory is so identical or similar to the language employed by another author, which leads to en irresistible conclusion that it has been copied without permission, a case of copyright infringement cannot be set up.

4. The diagrams can also be used.

5. No permission is required if the content is nor originally owned by the publisher.

6. The basic rule is that modification cannot be permitted under the guise of originality. The court has to be very circumspect in determining whether the content claimed to be original is indeed original or just interpolation of the content which has been claimed to be infringed. The content is to be read in entirety instead of any part thereof in isolation. So there is no straight jacket formula to determine what should be the scale of modification.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18158 Answers
449 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1) you should not copy the content from books published by local publisher . 

2) you should not use the same diagrams . obtain publisher permission 

3) as far as mathematical questions are concerned if there is only one answer to the question there cannot be copyright on said answer 

4) you need permission from publisher to use content from the books published by him . 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23291 Answers
1220 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. If a mathematical question has an answer, can anyone claim copyright on the answer? For example, a mathematical questions like "Find whether the following system of equations are consistent. If so, solve them: 2x - y + z = 5; 3x + y - 2z = -1; x - 3y - z = 2". 
This is universal, nobody can claim rights over it individually.


2. I cannot imagine this question being answered any differently than what is stated in the syllabus. Sure the explanation of the answer may be slightly different like instead of writing "Adding equation (1), (2) & (3)", I may write "Adding equation (A), (B) & (C)". But is this even necessary?
You are solving the questions with answers, there is nothing wrong in it.



3. Since we have a software which can generate images of mathematical equations, can I simply scan the mathematical equation and use it? Can I say that I got the image created instead of saying I copied it directly?
From where are you copying it?, if you are not using them as it is as you have downloaded, then there is no problem. 


4. If I can use the scanned image of the equations from the book, what modifications are required from me to be able to use the scanned images?
When you have planned to use the scanned images, better modify the pattern a little bit, so that it should not become a dispute.



5. Theoretical content is simply scientific concepts. For example, "Describe Laue's method for the determination of crystal structure." or "What are Brillouin zones? Explain using E-K diagrams". The concept is the same in almost any engineering book you choose, but can I use same exact content from this book in my ebook as well?
Why not, if it is the same pattern universally accepted, there is no infringement of rights of any person.



6. Since the theoretical concepts have diagrams as well, can I use the same diagrams?
If that is how it has to be taught, you dont have an opti, there is nothing wrong in it.


7. Do I need the permission of the publisher for this? Can I do this without their permission since it is not their original content and they must have referenced other engineering books to draft this content?
If you have extracted from publisher's work, then you may have to obtain their permission., it is not your problem that from where they have extracted them.


8. If I need to modify the content to be able to use it, what should be the scale of modification? 60%, 70%, 90%?
Yes, you can do modifications to the extent to show that there were modifications carried out.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14069 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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