The reason I finally decided to write this is because I have started seeing more and more requests for opinions on Copyright infringement, Trademark violation, and Patents (not as much as the previous two but I'll add it anyway) So let's take a journey through the world of Intellectual Property so the threads that ask "is this copyright infringement" can be limited. The Copyright: It is the set of exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work. These rights can be licensed, transferred and/or assigned. Copyright lasts for a certain time period after which the work is said to enter the public domain. Copyright applies to a wide range of works that are substantive and fixed in a medium. Copyrightable works include the following categories: 1 literary works (yes eBooks too) 2 musical works, including any accompanying words 3 dramatic works, including any accompanying music 4 pantomimes and choreographic works 5 pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works 6 motion pictures and other audiovisual works 7 sound recordings 8 architectural works Several categories of material are generally not eligible for federal copyright protection. These include among others: â€¢ Works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of expression (for example, choreographic works that have not been notated or recorded, or improvisational speeches or performances that have not been written or recorded) â€¢ Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents â€¢ Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a description, explanation, or illustration (Will cover this later in Patents) â€¢ Works consisting entirely of information that is common property and containing no original authorship (for example: standard calendars, height and weight charts, tape measures and rulers, and lists or tables taken from public documents or other common sources) Basically if you have taken an ebook and rewritten it you are not in violation of Copyright law, but you may in violation of a Patent law if the concept is a patented procedure. Also if you are blatantly copying a well-known concept and the original writer of the subject matter has a law firm willing to spend the time and money to get you into court it will still cost you a lot of money. One thing I would like to note it that VERY rarely are ebook writers willing to spend the money to have their work sent off and approved by The US Copyright office yet they put the little (C) symbol on their works anyway as a scare tactic to dissuade readers from copying the material. You can check if for a Copyright by visiting the Search Catalog at the Copyright Office website: Code: http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&PAGE=First The Trademark: A trademark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities. A trademark is designated by the following symbols: (TM): Used for an UNREGISTERED Trademark to promote a brand or good. (SM): Used for an UNREGISTERED Service Mark to promote a service. (R): Used for a REGISTERED Trademark. A trademark is a type of intellectual property, and typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. (eg. Nike, Just Do It, Pepsi, So Easy Even A Caveman Can Do it) <--- yes that's registered, LOL. The owner of a registered trademark may commence legal proceedings for trademark infringement to prevent unauthorized use of that trademark. However, registration is not required. Registering your Trademark provides additional legal protection in that NOBODY may replicate your name within the jurisdiction that it is registered. It is EXPENSIVE and time consuming to attain a Registered Trademark and is usually done by a reputable intellectual property law firm. Knowing this, violating a Registered Trademark is as good as writing your own legal death certificate. You know they have big money, big reputation, and big attorney's so don't even walk down that road. Again, many people fake that they are a (TM) or (R) and you can search for them by using the USPTO web search found here: Code: http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=searchss&state=4003:lbpup1.1.1 The Patent: A patent is an intellectual property right granted by the Government of the United States of America to an inventor "to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States" for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted. This right was established over 200 years ago in Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution: "to promote the science and useful arts by securing for a limited time to the inventors the exclusive right to their respective rights and discoveries." This is where your procedures, computer programs, proprietary methods, research, etc would fall under. Very rarely will you find yourself infringing on this law unless you are a developer of software, or machines related to computer hardware or maybe copying an exact word for word method of SEO or blatant copying of a well-known method. Not very many people will fake a patent but if you'd like to search for official patents to make sure your invention isn't already available you can go to the USPTO Patent Search by going here: Code: http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/search/index.jsp Good Practice: All in all, you should also use your best judgment. If you have a thread on here asking, "if i used xxxxxxx name in my domain name will this be a violation of the law?" The answer may be NO, and it may be YES. Intellectual property law is complex within a single country, but then when you get into crossing borders via the internet and World Wide Web you run into even larger infringement issues and complexities. Maybe you are violating in one country but not another because of the lack of name recognition in that country, but then xx% of your traffic must derive from the unregistered country to prevent prosecution. You can imagine how fun and complex that can get. Use good judgment and business practice. If you know that you have rewritten something and will promote it better than who you copied from you can be subject to violation on grounds of affecting the marketability and profitability of the previous product. There are several things that you CAN get in trouble for that you may not be versed on with regard to intellectual property and several things you will NEVER get in trouble for that could be a direct violation. It is up to the diligence of the Intellectual Property originator to find and prosecute those who are infringing. It is also our job as professionals to maintain some sense of good business practice and follow our gut feeling of right and wrong. Disclaimer: Please note this is not legal advice and you should always consult the opinion of a legal professional that is well versed in the laws regarding the region you reside.