If you ever upload pictures, video, or audio to any website, including Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, you need to make sure you are not violating any copyright laws.
Copyright infringement can be an embarrassing affair, costly, and even criminal. However, learning the copyright law is quite simple but critical.
In an age of easy distribution of pictures and video and the easier access to copying and sharing, getting to know and avoiding infringing on other people’s copyrights is essential knowledge.
In fact, copyright law is easily one of the most misunderstood areas of law.
How Can You Avoid Copyright Infringement?
Always assume copyright protects every work unless proven otherwise.
While at one point, copyright protection only applied if a proper copyright notice (such as including (c) mark) was included with the work, works no longer require copyright notices for it to be protected under copyright law.
The easiest way an individual can avoid copyright infringement today is have an assumption that all work is protected by copyright law.
This is especially important with information that you might be able to find on Google or anywhere on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
What you need to understand is that, if you can found it online, then chances are that someone already owns rights to it.
Understand the Limits of Copyright
You need to understand how to fully avoid copyright infringement, and you also need to keep in mind that in some copyright cases, protection won’t apply.
Facts and ideas are usually considered to be public domain. This means that you can easily write your own history book on actual events. However, if you write a book based on another person’s work, it could and most likely will be be considered copyright infringement, this is because the facts and ideas that were created by the writer are considered to be original thought that are protected by the law, unless, the copyright for the specific material has lapsed and the work has entered public domain.
Clear Understanding of Copyright Exemptions
In some case, work that has been protected, may be used in certain circumstances. This kind of usage is strictly for noncommercial purposes like criticism, teaching or commentary.
However, you will still need to consider the exact purpose of use, the extent of use, and how substantial it is, and the impact that the particular work will have on the work’s market value.
In case you are in doubt then it’s best to assume that it might not be okay, and avoid using the copyrighted work. Alternatively, and the best option is that you could ask for permission to use the work from the copyright holder.
Key Factors about Copyright You Should Know
- The best way to avoid violating a copyright is by simply asking permission from the original owner, before using their picture, video, or audio.
- If you do have to refer to someone else’s work, put it your own words and give your commentary on it and avoid using large segments of someone else’s expressions verbatim, because it could end up being blatant copyright infringement.
- You should note that, not every unauthorized use of the copyright work is copyright infringement. This is because the statute considers some limited use to be “fair uses” these are things like news reporting, commentary, criticism, and research work.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself
Intellectual property law is an ever changing field, and even if the letter of law is clear, its implementation might not be as clear. In case you have a complicated intellectual property issue, or you simple have unanswered questions, it may be best you consult an experienced and qualified business lawyer to help you understand the basics.
In case you still like to learn more about copyright law and intellectual property, you could contact Sam Mollaei, Esq., business lawyer. Website: http://www.mollaeilaw.com.