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Fun Fact #14: What Is A Copyright?

Below you will find some information about copyrights. This is not meant to be legal advice, and should you require legal advice, it is best to contact an attorney with experience with copyrighting.

Here are some quick facts:

  • What does copyright protect?
    Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “What Works Are Protected.”  
    As defined by www.copyright.gov  at the U.S. Copyright office
  • Copyright laws are Federal Laws.
  • You do not have to display the copyright symbol to be protected.
  • Should you illegally use an image or musically piece, even without intent to do so, you may be asked to remove it. Branding is a significant issue and many large brands peruse the web for illegal use. When in doubt, contact an attorney for help.

So, what does this mean to us as writers of content, marketing materials and other forms of written works? We need to be careful when using resources for content on our own sites or marketing materials. This includes images, text, and video. Use reliable resources for images such as //www.freeimages.com/ or //www.gettyimages.com/ insuring the artists are compensated, when applicable, for their works.

There is a great article online, What Is the Importance of Copyright Laws on the Web?

by Van Thompson who writes:

 The Digital Millennium Copyright Act removes liability from websites whose users commit copyright infringement so long as the websites take the material down. This means that even if YouTube or Facebook allows you to upload something on your small business page, you could still be committing copyright infringement and the material can be removed. Some Internet users believe that if they state that no copyright infringement was intended they might escape liability. For example, people frequently re-post songs on YouTube with a disclaimer stating they are not violating copyright laws. This does not, however, absolve users from liability, so it is important to check the copyright status of any material you upload to a website. Read more…

There are so many talented and gifted writers and artists in the world who put their creations out there for us to enjoy. You can enjoy them, share them but give them the acknowledgment…and when in doubt, ask an attorney.

We provide content writing services to our clients for their website, articles, press releases and blog posts. Our written product should not be mistaken for legal or financial advice. It is best to consult with a professional for legal or financial advice.

 

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