Copyright FAQ

Lev Eliezer Israel edited this page Oct 15, 2018 · 13 revisions

Can I reuse a text I found on Sefaria for my project?

Most of the time yes, but you'll need to check the particular text's license or copyright status to see if there are any requirements, restrictions or exceptions. For any text you find, click on its title in the header to view its Table of Contents page. From there, you can click on the "Versions" tab to see information for all the available versions of this text.

Below each version's name there will always be a link to the source where Sefaria acquired this text. For most texts, you'll also see a Creative Commons license, a notice that the text is "Public Domain", or a copyright notice.

Public domain texts can be reused without restriction. Texts with a Creative Commons license may carry requirements to give attribution, share derived work or limit usage in commercial contexts. Click on the CC license you see to learn about its requirements or restrictions. Please note that most of the time, if a text requires attribution, this means giving credit to the original source of the text, not to Sefaria. Texts with an attribution ("BY") clause require attribution if used. Texts with a non-commercial ("NC") clause can not be legally used for commercial purposes.

If a text includes a copyright notice, you may not reuse the text without permission from the copyright holder.

If no license or "Public Domain" notice is listed, it means Sefaria has not verified the copyright status of a text. In that case it is up to you to look into the text's source link and determine for yourself if the text is reusable for your purposes.

How can I get a copy of a text?

On the text's Table of Contents (see above for how to find that), there is a download button, on the bottom of the page. Choose which version of the text you want, and the format, and click Download.

What licenses does Sefaria allow?

Sefaria only wants to include text which is open for reuse and sharing. Right now we try to restrict our texts to the following licenses:

I have a book in my hands, can I copy from it?

It depends. In order to copy the content, the book's copyright must have expired. The rules surrounding this are too numerous to list here, but the Cornell University Copyright Center has an excellent list of all the relevant rules which should help you to determine the copyright status of your work.

I found this text for free on the Internet, so I can copy it, right?

Probably not. All text on the internet is copyrighted by default. The creator or owner of the work must state that they allow copying, reproduction, and use of their work. Look for a license and see if they have licensed their work under an open license which allows for reuse. Some sites, like wikisource, license all of their texts under an open license and are good places to look for free texts.

May I copy the English Talmud from Soncino / halakha.com / Come & Hear?

No.

May I copy text from the Bar-Ilan Responsa project?

No.

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