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Q: Small business articles Free Use with or with out credit ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Small business articles Free Use with or with out credit
Category: Business and Money > Advertising and Marketing
Asked by: jamiedolan-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 18 Nov 2003 23:04 PST
Expires: 18 Dec 2003 23:04 PST
Question ID: 278130
I am looking for a detailed series of articles, at least 15 to 20. 
The articles should be about general business issues that pertian to
us based businesses.  The articles must be able to be used on our web
site, legally.  We can give permission to the author, or we can take
permission for them, what ever works for the source.  If you as the
researcher are intrested in writing articles for me, that would be

This is an example of a site that uses content similar to what I am asking for:

I would ideally like to see 50+ good articles that I can legally use
on our web site.  It is very very important that it is legal for us to
use these articles.

It would be ideal if we can take credit for the articles legally.  We
do not necessarly need to have exclusive use of the articles, but I
dont want everyone to have read them already.

Articles related to small / medium development / growth / marketing /
sales are best, however all business articles are welcome.

A very genorouse tip will be provided for a complete posting here of
the articles that I am requesting.

Please also make sure the articles are not teriable dated.  An article
about how to market products or services for industries that no longer
exgist are useless.  I perfer articles that are general or market
direction, not product directed.  i.e. I do not want articles about
how to run a tire shop, however, articles about how to run a sucessful
retail business would be excellent.

Clarification of Question by jamiedolan-ga on 18 Nov 2003 23:27 PST
Thanks for taking the time to work on my questions so promptly.  

Here is another example of a site that includes articles that I think would fit:

I should also note, that we are a commercial degisn, printing, media,
pr / advertising company.  Basically we want to provide info via the
web that will help our clientel grow there business, and allow them to

I hope this helps!

Request for Question Clarification by slawek-ga on 18 Nov 2003 23:33 PST
Good Day jamiedolan-ga,

I have begun the search for articles. As you can imagine, this process
might take a while. I can have a good list pulled together for you by
some time this Friday. With the list in hand, I suspect that most of
the resources will require me to contact the authors to ensure we can
use the material legally. An additional couple of days should produce
enough responses from these inquiries, and leave us with a good list
of resources. I don't imagine we will get a good response to requests
for information on material reuse, until the weekend is over.  Will
this be acceptable? If not, please let us know how soon you require
this material.

One more note: chances are that the authors of the articles will want
to be "compensated" somehow. Often a simple back link to the author's
page is sufficient when using someone else's work (of course I would
explore each resource individually, and find out the details on how
the work can be reused). Is this type of arrangement with the authors
acceptable? Gaining legal rights to the articles will most likely not
be possible without some sort of payment to the author.


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 20 Nov 2003 19:13 PST
Hello Jamiedolan-ga,

There is a TON of info out there that would seem to meet your criteria.  

Here is just one example, which I have copied from at length, below. 
Ordinarily, the researchers here only excerpt small pieces of on-line
material due to copyright constraints, but since the material below is
copyright-free, I can quote it pretty much in its entirety:


How to Start a Small Business

Starting and managing a business takes motivation, desire and talent.
It also takes research and planning.

Like a chess game, success in small business starts with decisive and
correct opening moves. And, although initial mistakes are not fatal,
it takes skill, discipline and hard work to regain the advantage.

To increase your chance for success, take the time up front to explore
and evaluate your business and personal goals. Then use this
information to build a comprehensive and well­thought­out business
plan that will help you reach these goals.

The process of developing a business plan will help you think through
some important issues that you may not have considered yet. Your plan
will become a valuable tool as you set out to raise money for your
business. It should also provide milestones to gauge your success...


Getting Started

Before starting out, list your reasons for wanting to go into
business. Some of the most common reasons for starting a business are:

 You want to be your own boss. 

 You want financial independence. 

 You want creative freedom. 

 You want to fully use your skills and knowledge.

Next you need to determine what business is "right for you." Ask
yourself these questions:

 What do I like to do with my time? 

 What technical skills have I learned or developed? 

 What do others say I am good at? 

 How much time do I have to run a successful business? 

 Do I have any hobbies or interests that are marketable?

Then you should identify the niche your business will fill. Conduct
the necessary research to answer these questions:

 Is my idea practical and will it fill a need? 

 What is my competition? 

 What is my business advantage over existing firms? 

 Can I deliver a better quality service? 

 Can I create a demand for your business?

The final step before developing your plan is the pre-business
checklist. You should answer these questions:

 What business am I interested in starting? 

 What services or products will I sell? Where will I be located? 

 What skills and experience do I bring to the business? 

 What will be my legal structure? (see overview below) 

 What will I name my business? 

 What equipment or supplies will I need? 

 What insurance coverage will be needed? 

 What financing will I need? 

 What are my resources? 

 How will I compensate myself?

Your answers will help you create focused, well-­researched business
plan that should serve as a blueprint. It should detail how the
business will be operated, managed and capitalized.

Types of Business Organizations

When organizing a new business, one of the most important decisions to
be made is choosing the structure of a business. Factors influencing
your decision about your business organization include:

 Legal restrictions 

 Liabilities assumed 

 Type of business operation 

 Earnings distribution 

 Capital needs 

 Number of employees 

 Tax advantages or disadvantages 

 Length of business operation

The advantages and disadvantages of sole proprietorship, partnership
and corporation are listed below...


I could go on (at great length), but I think that's probably enough to
give you the general idea.  Other topics covered from the same source

Startup Basics
Buying a Business
Buying a Franchise
Protecting Your Ideas
Product Basics
Specific Training 
Business Planning
Legal Aspects
Special Interests 

and other areas as well.

Does this look like what you need?

If so, I can answer your question.  HOWEVER....the answer, for the
most part, would steer you to the site containing the documents
themselves, where you could pick and choose amongst them to select the
ones that best meet your needs.

I could also provide some guidance on the do's and dont's of copying the material.

But overall, the answer would be a pretty straighforward one, and not
terribly lengthy, as I wouldn't be reproducing the materials here, but
simply pointing you to them.

Would this suffice as an answer to your question?  If there's
something else that you need beyond what I'm suggesting, please let me
know and I'll see if I can provide it.



Clarification of Question by jamiedolan-ga on 20 Nov 2003 20:01 PST
This would help alot assuming that the material is properly identified
as copyright free.  If you could find another site or two as a
referance for this type of material,that would be a great answer. 
Also any information you can provide here about copy rights would be
useful.  Thanks.
Subject: Re: Small business articles Free Use with or with out credit
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 21 Nov 2003 08:32 PST
Hello again jamiedolan-ga.

It's a good thing you pay your taxes, because the federal government,
in its wisdom, has spent some of the tax money you?ve provided to
prepare guides for small businesses.  Like all federal government
materials, it is in the "public domain" -- that is, free of copyright
protection, and available for anyone to use as they see fit.

Before diving into the materials themselves, here's a brief
explanation of ?public domain? documents from the very-helpful Digital
Law Online site:


?The Copyright Act of 1976 specifically exempts works created by the
federal government from copyright protection, continuing a provision
from the previous copyright acts...Note that this is a special rule
that federal government works are always in the "public domain".
Public domain works have no copyright owner, and anyone can use the
work as they see fit without infringement...?


In other words, you can use materials published by the federal
government pretty much in any way you want.  Though it?s considered
?good form? to attribute such use back to its source, this is not a
legal requirement, but merely a matter of personal preference.


The motherlode of public-domain documents on starting and running a
small business is the federal Small Business Administration at:

You can pick and choose from hundreds of documents at this site, and,
as I said before, use them as you see fit.

However, THERE?S ONE IMPORTANT CAVEAT!!!  If the SBA site itself
quotes from other materials, then assume that the quoted material is

Although it MAY be OK to use such material, it would be a big hassle
to actually find out its status.  So the best bet is to simply avoid
it.  I?ll show you an example, below, of what I?m talking about.


You many want to have a look at the SBA ?site map? for starters, as it
will provide a quick overview of the type and extent of materials
available at the site.  You?ll find the map here:

There?s enough material to make one a bit dizzy.  The real challenge
is, where to get started.  So, head back to the main page:

and you?ll notice along the top of the page several links to broad
topics of interest to small businesses:

Starting Your Business
Financing Your Business  
Managing  Your Business
Business Opportunities   
Disaster Recovery

Each of these links will bring to several dozen documents that focus
on specific issues within the main category.  For instance, clicking
on ?Starting Your Business? takes you to:

where you can find numerous documents in each of the following categories:

--Startup Basics

--Business Planning





--Legal Aspects

--Special Interest

For instance, in the ?Startup Basics? area, you can choose from the following:

 --Are you ready? 
 --Finding a Niche 
 --Buying a Business 
 --Buying a Franchise 
 --Checklist for starting a business 
 -- Protecting Your Ideas 
 --Product Basics 
 --Startup Guide 
 --Specific Training 

and clicking on the ?Startup Guide? will take you to:

where you have dozens of MORE choices of things to click on, such as
the ?Getting Started? link which takes you to some of the material I
cited in my response to you the other day:

NOTE towards the bottom of this page is a section of text that begins:

?To Lease or Not to Lease: Things To Know Get The Answers
Here are some questions to ask before signing a lease:?

and after listing the questions, it says:

?(Source: 327 Questions to Ask Before You Sign a Lease, by B. Alan
Whitson (B. Alan Whitson Co., (800) 452 ?4480.)?

This is example of the cautionary note I made above -- I would not
include the ?To Lease or Not to Lease? question-list in any excerpted
materials, since it did not originate from the federal government, but
came from private, copyrighted materials.  Although I?m sure SBA
obtained permission to reproduce the list, it does not necessarily
mean that the permission extends to others who duplicate the material.


Other than that, though, all the material at the site is available for
public use.  I did some checking around with a Google search on a
verbatim sentence taken from the SBA site.  The sentence was:

?Starting and managing a business takes motivation, desire and talent.?

and searching for it (with the quotes) on Google turns up about a
hundred sites that have used this exact sentence -- and other
materials -- from the SBA site.

This is good news!.  It should set your mind at ease about the
propriety of duplicating these materials, as it has been done freely
by others.  On the other hand, it has not been done so frequently as
to make the information ?old hat? for visitors to your site.  There?s
a lot of valuable material that SBA makes available that continue to
be useful resources to small businesses of all stripes.

A typical example of such use of SBA materials is this credit information site at:

You can see they?ve adopted the SBA materials pretty much word for
word.  Also, at the very bottom of the page, they?ve included a small

?This information is adapted from "Small Business Startup Kit"
Published by the U.S. SBA.?

This type of acknowledgment is considered a professional courtesy. 
But as I said earlier, there is no legal requirement to include such a


I hope this provides the information you need.  The biggest challenge
will be sorting through the reams of available materials to find the
documents that will work best for your customers.

If you need any additional information or elaboration of anything I?ve
said here, just let me know by posting a Request for Clarification and
I?ll be happy to assist you further.

Best of luck in you ventures.


search strategy: Used bookmarked sites and existing knowledge of
copyright law as the main resources for answering this question.

Request for Answer Clarification by jamiedolan-ga on 21 Nov 2003 09:42 PST
AM I ABLE TO MAKE MINOR CHANGE to these articles and call then my own?
 Can I use them in print if I desire?  Do you know of any other
goverment sites that contain a lot of information that I might find

Thank You!

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 22 Nov 2003 12:48 PST
>>AM I ABLE TO MAKE MINOR CHANGE to these articles and call then my own?<<

Yes.  These are public domain materials and you can do whatever you
like with them.

>>Can I use them in print if I desire?<<


<<Do you know of any other goverment sites that contain a lot of
information that I might find useful?<<

Probably, but it depends a lot on what sort of information you're
looking for.  Are there particular types of businesses you would like
to provide information to?  A particular problem to address (How to
export?  File your taxes? etc).  A particular geographic area?

Here are a few links to consider...all of them have the same type of
federal government "public domain" materials that you can use at


Department of Commerce:

Technology Grants to Small Businesses:

Doing Business with the Federal Government:

Internet Advertising

These should give you plenty of additional materials to work with.  If
there's a particular topic of interest that you want more information
about, just let me know, and I'm happy to help out.


Request for Answer Clarification by jamiedolan-ga on 22 Nov 2003 15:39 PST
Do you know if information from the US post office would be considered
free of copyright?  I am not sure if the post office is considered
goverment owned or just goverment funded or what exactly its legal
defination is in the usa.

Maybe some Human resources info?

The only other thing that I can think of would be articles about
graphics, and design.

Thanks again for your help


Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 22 Nov 2003 16:40 PST
It's good to see you're on the job!  It's nice getting a rapid
response to my questions.

You asked:

>>Do you know if information from the US post office would be considered
free of copyright?<<

Uh-uh...don't touch.  I'm afraid the Post Office is off-limits.  Even
though it's government chartered, it's treated as a private-sector
entity, so its materials are protected by copyright.

>>Maybe some Human resources info?<<

Not sure exactly what you have in mind here, but the SBA site has a
lot of info on hiring and managing employees.  In fact, if you take a
look at this page:

you'll not only find a publication specific to Human Resources:

characteristics of an effective personnel system and training program.
Learn how these functions come together to build employee trust and

...but you'll also see dozens of other publications, including some on
Marketing a small business, which will bear on your next question,
which was:

>>The only other thing that I can think of would be articles about
graphics, and design<<

Beyond the marketing materials available at the SBA site, there
doesn't seem to be a great deal on this particular topic.  I did find
one good public domain publication, however, which might do the trick:

Designing Your Report
Few sponsors of quality information projects are schooled in the art
of graphic design, but that shouldn't stop you from developing
performance reports that are crisp, clean, and easy to read. This
section reviews the following:

Elements of Good Design. 
Design Guidelines for Performance Reports. 


At this point, you have a pretty sizable library to work with, but if
any other specific needs come to mind, just let me know, and I'll see
if I can hunt something down for you.

All the best...


Request for Answer Clarification by jamiedolan-ga on 01 Dec 2003 22:21 PST

Upon examination of the documents on the sba web site.  I found that
nearly all of the documents that I found in the online library
contained a copy right notice to this effect:

U.S. Small Business Administration                           PI-1


         Gerald Udell
         Director, CBRD
         Southwest Missouri State
               Products / Ideas / Invention Series

                  This publication replaces
     "Can You Make Money With Your Idea or Invention?" and
                    "Ideas Into Dollars"

Copyright 1989, Gerald Udell.  All rights reserve. No part may be
reproduced, transmitted or transcribed without permission of the
author.  SBA retains and irrevocable, worldwide, nonexclusive
royalty-free, unlimited license to use this copyrighted material.

While we consider the contents of this publication to be of
general merit, its sponsorship by the U.S. Small Business
Administration does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of
the views and opinions of the authors or the products and
services of the companies with which they are affiliated.

All of SBA's programs and services are extended to the public on
a nondiscriminatory basis.

This was obtained from the above url...  Maybe I am looking in the
wrong spot?  What do you think?

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 02 Dec 2003 11:19 PST
Hello again,

As I noted in my original answer, most of the SBA material is copyright-free:


"However, THERE?S ONE IMPORTANT CAVEAT!!!  If the SBA site itself
quotes from other materials, then assume that the quoted material is


In the link you asked about, SBA has removed any ambiguity, and made
it perfectly clear that the material is copyrighted, so do not use it
in your own site.

The bulk of the material at the SBA site is indeed copyright-free. 
However, the "Library" page that you referenced seems to include a
good deal of the material from non-government sources that are
protected by copyright (the exception seems to be the "Factsheets"
listed on the Library page, most of which are SBA materials and are
hence, copyright-free).

Fortunately, the SBA site is making it very clear for you which
material is still copyright-protected, so it should be an easy matter
to sort out what is useable, and what is off-limits.

I hope this is clear.  But if not, let me know.  This is the most
important aspect of using material from the SBA site -- understanding
what is and is not in the public domain -- so I want to make sure you
are comfortable with the information I am providing.

Feel free to get back to me with any additional information needs you may have.


Subject: Re: Small business articles Free Use with or with out credit
From: slawek-ga on 19 Nov 2003 00:10 PST
I have started gathering the resources. Once I have a good list of
articles, and conditions of their use, we can determine what we
can/want to do with each individual piece: give credit, rewrite, or
find other methods of using the information.

If I have any questions along the way, I will contact you via a
clarification request. I will also observe this space for any
additional information you might wish to pass my way.

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