An Everything2 Help document

Who owns the copyright on my writeups?

You do.

Unless you have directly quoted other sources, all the text content of your writeups remains your property while it is displayed on E2. By submitting a writeup to E2, all you are doing is implicitly giving E2 the right to display your work publically. This is a right you may withdraw at any time (see Writeup Deletion).

For information about citing or reproducing other people's work on E2, read on below.

What are the rules on citation?

E2 has no preferred formal citation format and informal attributions are acceptable for shorter quotes.

What are the rules on plagiarism?

Plagiarism is bad.

The rule of thumb is this. If any part of your writeup appears to be written by you, but isn't written by you, that is plagiarism.

If it is obvious from context that you are pulling facts from memory, or "common knowledge", or just making stuff up, you are fine. If there are <blockquote> tags or quotation marks around your quotation and a citation is visible, then obviously what you've written is quoted from somewhere, not something you came up with yourself. That is fine.

Can I node public domain works?

Yes, as long as you cite them properly. See Adding Public Domain Materials to Everything2 for more.

Can I node copyrighted works?

If you can obtain permission from the original copyright holder, yes, as long as you cite them properly.

If you cannot obtain this permission, or choose not to try, then you may not use other people's copyrighted work in your writeup, except under the conditions of Fair Use.

Fair Use

These are the rules on Everything2:

  1. You cannot quote more than 1000 words or 10% of a copyrighted fiction or non-fiction work, whichever is less.
  2. You cannot quote more than 250 words of a song lyric or poem. Repeated choruses DO count multiple times in that word count. (If the cited work is less than 250 words then the entire work can be cited.)
  3. You cannot quote more than 500 words of a USENET post, message board entry or email. (This assumes that what you are quoting is not, itself, a song lyric or poem.)
  4. Quotes from a single work may not make up more than 1/3 of any writeup. Note carefully the wording here. The remaining 2/3 of your writeup will usually be original writing of your own. However, it could just as easily be comprised of quotes from other sources. In fact, your writeup could simply consist of three equal-length quotes from three different sources and this would be okay.

These figures are reckoned in total over the length of your article.

Weird cases


In order to node a translation, you will need to get the permission of both the original author AND the translator.

In the case of Public Domain works such as the Bible, you will find that specific translations such as the New International Version still fall under copyright.

In the case of a translation you made yourself, you will still need to get the permission of the author whose work you translated.

Press releases

On E2, we count press releases as copyrighted content.

Public speeches

Quotes from public addresses or speeches by public figures are usually Public Domain although specific instantiations such as a newspaper transcript of a public speech may be copyrighted.

Musical notation (chords, chord progressions)

If you quote some music, and the music is copyrighted, then this should be considered a quote from the copyrighted source. For the purposes of word counts we reckon one chord = one word in chord progressions, and one bar = one word in tabulature.

Illegal sources (e.g. lyric quotes from an illegal bootleg concert recording, illegal documents)

These aren't allowed.

Lists and statistics (e.g. a list of an actor's film roles, from the Internet Movie Database)

Straightforward lists of facts such as filmographies, discographies or the list of a performer's roles are not considered copyright protected. However more complex material such as derived sports statistics may represent intellectual property and thus be copyrighted. For example the schedule of this year's football games isn't protected, but a compilation of the longest touchdown passes in history would probably be, unless you compiled it yourself.

Citations from multiple versions of the same work (e.g. lyrics from various cover versions of the same song)

Different (copyright) registration, different work. Each separately published song gets its own 250 word limit.


Under U.S. copyright law,

Mere listings of ingredients as in recipes, formulas, compounds, or prescriptions are not subject to copyright protection. However, when a recipe or formula is accompanied by substantial literary expression in the form of an explanation or directions, or when there is a combination of recipes, as in a cookbook, there may be a basis for copyright protection.

Copyright Salvage Team

CST_Group is a usergroup formed in August 2003 to vet new and existing writeups for copyright compliance.

You can request a CST review on any writeup of yours by sending a /msg to Content_Salvage. If your writeup doesn't meet E2's requirements, the CST will offer advice to help you get there. If this process fails, your writeup will be deleted. If the process succeeds, you'll be allowed to add a "CST Approved" tag to your writeup.

You can also request CST review on any other writeup, old or new.

I followed all of these guidelines and my nodes are still getting downvoted!

Your nodes still have to be worth reading.

Can I reproduce an Everything2 writeup on my website?

Except where explicitly stated, every writeup on Everything2 remains the property of its original author. If you want to reproduce a writeup, contact the author and get their permission directly.

If you are unable to contact the author, for example if they have left E2, then no, you may not reproduce their writeup.

I believe a writeup on Everything2 is violating my copyright.

See E2 Copyright Violations.

Further reading (not by Virgil)


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