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I would like to know if it is appropriate to copy a drawing from a book (specifically a directed graph) and develop my theory on that drawing? It is sure that I am going to make a reference for that drawing.

Note: The author of that book I intend to copy the drawing develops his theory based on that figure, but I am going to approach everything it matters more deeply.

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Well, to my eye this is a good case of improving the state of the art, of course citing appropiately your sources. It is the same as quoting from a book.

On the other hand, if the publisher is especially nitpicking, maybe you could just use a software editor to re-create the drawing (still sourcing!) instead of using the "edited" drawing from a book.

  • It's not "nitpicking" for a publisher to require others to refrain from violating its copyright. And copying a figure is absolutely not "the same as quoting from a book" from a copyright perspective. Figures (unlike small sections of text) are considered works in and of themselves, so copying a figure is like copying an entire work (not a small part of it). – ff524 Oct 30 '14 at 10:08
  • I'm not a publisher so I cannot say. Maybe I can reformulate the "especially nitpicking" to say your phrase, if it's more adequate. – malarres Oct 30 '14 at 10:14