How To Avoid Copyright Infringement

Have you ever uploaded an image or video to a website only for it to be deleted because of copyright issues?The basics of copyright law are very easy to understand.You can save yourself from running afoul of the law if you have some simple principles.

Step 1: Know what is protected by copyrights.

The holder of the copyright has exclusive control over when, how, and by whom their work may be copied, distributed, or exhibited.This includes literary works, paintings, photographs, drawings, films, music, choreography, sculptures and many other creative works.

Step 2: Know what isn’t protected.

The underlying ideas of a creative work are not protected by Copyright law.You can express your ideas and facts found in a book or journal in your own words.You should always give credit to the sources in which you got your ideas and facts.Not doing so could constitute a violation of the Copyright Act.If you have not obtained permission from the copyright holder to create the work, you may be in violation of the Copyright Act.It is possible that it is plagiarism under state common law.Paraphrasing other people’s work is a violation of state common law.

Step 3: Intellectual property should not be confused with other forms of property.

The term “intellectual property” has led to different things being confused with each other.”Non-lawyers who hear one term applied to these various laws tend to assume they are based on a common principle and function similarly.”Nothing could be further from the case.These laws have different rules and different public policy issues.Trademarks forbid the use of certain words, marks, symbols, and so on in certain contexts to protect consumers from misrepresentation.If you write a new text editor software and call it “Microsoft Text Editor”, trademark law would prevent you from doing so.

Step 4: You can learn about the public domain laws.

“Public domain” means “uncopyrighted”, not “publicly distributed”.A work can be out of copyright due to age or other reasons.All works in the United States are written by a federal government.All works published before 1923 are public domain, as are the works of the employee during their official duties.After the death of the author, works first created in the European Union will usually be copyrighted.

Step 5: Don’t take anything from the internet because it is almost always copyrighted.

“I found it on the Internet” is not a defense against copyrighted work, it’s just a way of saying that the work is copyrighted.It didn’t say it was copyrighted.It is not necessary for a work to have an explicit copyright notice in order for it to be copyrighted in the United States.It’s not necessary for a copyrighted work to be registered in order to get compensated in court.Assume that it is still under copyright if you don’t have an explicit dedication to the public domain.Works published before 1978 without a copyright notice may be public domain in the United States.After 75 years, works are no longer covered by copyright.They are public domain material.The works published by the US Government are public domain.

Step 6: Be creative.

Is this a creative work on my count, or am I simply drawing from the creativity of someone else?Lunches are not free, as any economist would tell you.By itself, scanning something yourself doesn’t give you a new copyright over anything.You can’t use a photograph from a magazine and put it on the internet, but the author of the work still has the rights to it.The flip-side of this is that if you scanned a work in the public domain, it wouldn’t give you the rights to use it.Taking a picture of a video or computer program doesn’t create a new copyright.The original video or computer program’s copyright would still be held by the person who created it.A plain text logo in a generic fonts is not copyrighted.Simple geometric shapes are not the same.Unless you are certain, don’t rely on this.

Step 7: Do not rely on “fair use”.

Fair use is a guarantee that copyright laws don’t affect freedom of speech and make critical commentary impossible.It is difficult for non-lawyers to know in advance if a certain use will be considered fair use in court.Permission should be sought first if in doubt.It is not a blank cheque that grants you a right to do anything.Teaching, comments, reporting, and research are some of the uses of text under “fair use”.It allows limited quoting of copyrighted material.It would be possible to create a copy for personal use.

Step 8: Don’t write fiction based on other works.

It was said that ideas can’t be copyrighted.There are fictional characters, story-lines, and settings that can be copyrighted.Fan-fiction, drawings of characters from copyrighted works, and so on are all technically copyrighted.Unless it has been explicitly authorized, don’t count on this being the case.Stock Characters can’t be copyrighted or trademarked.