Creative Commons is not an attempt to replace copyright. In fact, all these licenses would lose all meaning if modern copyright law were abolished overnight. Although the First Amendment may seem unconditional at first glance, the right to speak and write freely has never been absolute. Intellectual property rights often take precedence over an author`s « creative license ». The main advantage of copyright, for example, is the right to prevent others from making copies of a work (or part of it) without permission. By protecting an author`s expression, copyright ensures that authors and other creators derive financial benefits from their work. If you intend to use someone else`s copyrighted work, unless the use is considered « fair dealing » (which is technically a defense against copyright infringement), you must obtain written permission from that person. Under federal law, only the copyright owner or a person acting with the owner`s authority, such as a publisher, can grant this permission. Without written permission, you expose yourself to legal risks. Although any unauthorized use of a copyrighted work is not infringing, you should be aware of the risk of infringement of another person`s copyright if you include another person`s words, illustrations, photographs, diagrams or graphics in a work you post. The following are some common myths about copyright authorization. While it`s human nature to try to avoid tangles of permissions, don`t convince yourself that any of them are true. 1.
The work I want to use doesn`t have a copyright notice, so I don`t need permission. False. Since March 1, 1989, the copyright notice is optional. Prior to that date, the copyright notice was mandatory and a work published without a copyright notice risked losing copyright protection if it was not corrected within a certain period of time. 2. When I give credit, I don`t need permission. Giving credit means you can look in the mirror and say you`re not a plagiarist. However, mere acknowledgment is not a defense against copyright infringement, which, unlike plagiarism, has legal and unethical consequences. Copyright infringement is the unauthorized use of another person`s copyrighted material. On the other hand, you can plagiarize material that is not protected by copyright simply by claiming credit. 3. Since I only use a small part of the original work, I don`t need permission.
Although « fair use » cannot be defined with mathematical precision, courts have always held that « you cannot escape liability by showing the amount of work you did not take. » Based on the particular facts of a particular case, courts assess the following factors in determining whether a particular use constitutes fair use: (i) the purpose of the use, including whether the use is primarily for commercial or non-commercial purposes; (ii) the nature of the work; (iii) the quantity and importance of the material used in relation to the original work as a whole; and (iv) the impact of the use on the potential market or the value of the original. Even if what you copy is quantitatively small, it can be qualitatively important and therefore counterfeit use. 4. I don`t need permission because I will customize the original work. Copyright grants copyright holders the exclusive right to control changes to their works. If you add a new layer of copyrighted material to an existing work, you have created a derivative work. If this happens without the permission of the copyright owner, you may have infringed the owner`s copyright. 5. Since the work is in the public domain, I don`t need to remove permissions. Not necessarily. The public domain refers only to the absence of copyright protection. Although copyright is very important, a work can be protected by other legal theories that survive after copyright expires.
For example, works of art in the public domain, particularly distinctive signs (e.g. the illustration « Peter Rabbit » by Beatrix Potter), may obtain trademark protection and serve as a logo or source identifier. Similarly, simple ideas that are not protected by copyright may be protected by trade secret or contract law. Similarly, identifiable individuals may have the right to control how their name or image is used. 6. The material I wish to reproduce has been posted anonymously in an online chat or newsgroup. This means that the work is in the public domain. False. Neither the ease with which users can download or download information from the Internet, nor the fact that it is anonymous, makes a work in the public domain. In fact, the Copyright Act explicitly protects anonymous and pseudonymous works from unauthorized copying. Publications and republications of copyrighted material, if not made with the permission of the copyright owner, may constitute copyright infringement.
Of course, due to the nature of these postings, there may be implied consent to copy material received from A in any response B makes to such communication. 7. I can always get permission later. Later, it may be too late. Copyright holders have the absolute right not to grant you permission. If what you need is essential to your work, find out now that it`s not available until later. Lack of permission may result in your work being blocked or thousands of dollars in copyright damages and attorneys` fees paid if you choose to use the material without permission. 8. The material I would like to quote comes from an out-of-print book.
This means that the work is in the public domain. Not necessarily. Sold out does not mean exhausted. When a book is out of print, this is a temporary condition. The rights usually revert to the author, so the underlying copyright is not affected. 9. Since I plan to use my work for non-profit educational purposes, I do not need permission. Not necessarily. The decisive factor is not the user, but the type of material, how it is used, and whether the new use harms the value of the original work. Because even non-profit educational use can undermine the value of a copyrighted work, these organizations are not immune to copyright infringement lawsuits. 40K I don`t need permission because the work I want to use was published before 1923 and is over 75 years old. Not necessarily.
Unpublished and unregistered works created before 1978 (including very old works) may still be protected under U.S. copyright law. Copyright in such works, including unpublished letters and manuscripts, may not expire until at least December 31, 2002. If they were born before the age of 31. December 2002 as a bonus, they are guaranteed additional protection for at least 45 years (until December 31, 2047). Also note that while a work may be in the public domain in the United States, it may be protected abroad, where rules regarding the duration of copyright vary. When in doubt, play it safe and get permission or consult an intellectual property lawyer. Although these licenses appear to be contrary to copyright by giving rights that copyright naturally protects, the rights granted are offset by those retained and depend on copyright to protect these rights. It`s the responsibility of the owner of the copyrighted work to enforce their rights – but that doesn`t mean you should risk using copyrighted works without permission and hope to get away with it.
Tools such as Google Image Search make it easier for copyright owners to search for unauthorized use of their works and issue an invoice or even a lawsuit. Unauthorized downloading or downloading of copyrighted works is an infringement. Willful copyright infringement can result in criminal penalties, such as jail terms of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per violation. Some of these remedies are only available to authors with a legally registered copyright. Independent or commissioned work usually belongs to the author of the work. However, many freelancers are willing to transfer copyright under a contract. This is important when a freelance designer creates a brand identity or marketing materials. As a company, you must ensure that all copyrights are transferred to you and that the author also waives their moral rights in the work. Someone infringes copyright by violating the owner`s exclusive right to use the content, unless it falls under fair dealing. Sanctions range from receiving a strictly written letter to imprisonment.
It all depends on the details of the infringement – and the actions of the copyright holder. Creative Commons is not there to replace copyright, any more than a lease is supposed to replace the idea of home ownership.
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