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Here is a question related to a website providing mathematics solutions for students. Here are details:

  1. Students will enter the page number and problem number on the website, and the site will show the text of the Mathematics problem described in that text book;

  2. then the web page will show the solution to that math problem.

My question is, is my web site violating the copyrights of the text book publishers for showing the text without their permission.

This is not just a one page/one time issue. The site may show hundreds of pages from the book.

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Related question: math.stackexchange.com/questions/6914/… –  Ash Dec 17 '11 at 7:20
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Aside being good etiquette, using proper punctuation symbols allows StackExchange to format your text properly (e.g. numbered lists or bulleted lists). Also, consider learning the Markdown format so you can emphasize text without resorting to caps (though it should still be used sparingly). –  Lèse majesté Dec 18 '11 at 11:23
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3 Answers

Yes, and unnecessarily. There are a lot of open source mathematics materials/books on the market. What, specifically, is your subject and grade year? I'll link up a few examples of free materials. Remember, it's not only a copyright issue, the person that wrote that math textbook is a teacher somewhere, making the same amount of money you're making as a teacher. I'm a teacher too, there are alternatives. It's good that you asked.

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Firstly, it is beyond doubt that the idea is fraught with copyright issues.

Even so, why would you want to reproduce the question in toto? Referencing it by echoing back the question number, etc., should be a sufficient, elegant and preferable alternative.

Since the input includes the necessary reference details, you know the user knows the question, I suppose.

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Yes, this is violating copyright. You're essentially copying their book. And I'm guessing that you're doing it for financial gain, which makes it even worse.

Check the inside of their book for the copyright blurb. I bet there's something about 'no reproducing, in whole or in part, without permission'. Your website would be reproducing without permission, and that would ABSOLUTELY be a copyright violation.

This may not be the case if the book is old enough to be in the public domain, or if it has somehow been explicitly placed in the public domain (a creative commons license, for example). But I doubt these things have happened.

Someone put a lot of work into writing that text book - why should you profit from that person's work for free? Write your own questions!

Or, in case I'm being too innocent here, and you're not simply trying to find an efficient way to help students learn math... stop trying to help students to cheat! They're given assignments for a reason, and copying the answer off a website won't teach them a damn thing.

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