It is, or at least should be, common knowledge that you cannot take a previously written book, place a new cover on it, and resell it as your own.
There are topics such as… hmmm. “How To Brush Your Teeth,” that have been written hundreds of times, but they all say the same thing. If someone were to be writing a book about How To Maintain Good Hygiene, it might be a great idea to have the basic instructions (or maybe even full and complete) found in the hygiene book. As a writer/compiler I might want to chop up the original “How To Brush Your Teeth” book or article to fit the theme or destination of my How To Maintain Good Hygiene book.
Here’s my question. If I use previously written works within my new book, how do I do it legally? If I cannot contact the original writer, is it still possible to use the original wording? Do I need permission or is a mention in the book’s entirety sufficient?
What does copyright law have to say about this? What`s the standard in the writing industry. One someone writes a five step process on brushing your teeth, are you unable to write another five step process sharing the same key points?
Vincent Wilcox (a.k.a. KRAKR)
My band: Letters Make Words