Copyright infringement is an important topic that a lot of startups and small businesses actually forget about when using content and images on the internet. If you have a blog, it is really crucial that you understand what you can and more importantly what you can’t use on the world wide web. Thinking of taking content or images from another online source? Think again. Here are 5 myths most people have when it comes to copyright infringement.
MYTH: Once a piece of “work” is posted online it no longer has copyright protection…
TRUTH: You CANNOT use, copy or even post someone else’s images or articles without their permission. If someone else has created this, it is their work and they have copyright protection. As soon as something has been created, it never looses ownership protection. To avoid any problems, make sure you always find the source and have written permission stating you can use their image or content for your website.
MYTH: “I can copy “work” online as long as I give the owner credit or link back”
TRUTH: Unfortunately this just isn’t the case. You first need to get permission from the copyright owner before using any content that belongs to them. Some websites will say you can use their content provided you give credit and link back through to their site. You will need to check first to make sure as what they say on their website may no longer stand or be specific to only a certain piece of information.
MYTH: “If I alter the work or only use a part of it, I am not breaching copyright”
TRUTH: Work that has been copied but only slightly changed is still covered by copyright infringement. The only exception in this case is if you are writing a review or critique about someone’s work and just referring to the work, this is considered “fair use” and will not breach copyright infringement.
MYTH: “If there is no Copyright symbol or notice the content can be used freely”
TRUTH: Regardless of whether you have the copyright symbol with your content or images, it is still YOUR work. As soon as the work is created, it has copyright protection. The content owner will not lose their copyright if they do not use the known copyright symbol.
MYTH: “I can use another persons work as long as I don’t profit from it financially”
TRUTH: It doesn’t matter whether you are making money or not, you are still breaching copyright infringement laws. If you were to make money from someone else’s work, you would be held in contempt and a court decision would be taken into account against you.
The whole point of writing this was to make sure you are aware of what you are taking online. We have all done it but might not be aware we are actually breaking the law. Make sure you follow procedures so that you are never breaching copyright infringement rules.