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Fair Use Copyright Law
Don?t Overstep the Fair Use Copyright Law
Many people are interested in the fair use copyright law. The fair use copyright law enables people to use portions of material that is copyrighted for the purposes of criticism or as commentary. The hard part for many people is understanding what is permissible under the fair use copyright law and what is not permissible. Anyone who writes or publishes should brush up on what is allowed and what is not allowed. Using another person?s words to make news reports, to use as a comment or criticism or to use for research, scholarship, or for educational uses that are nonprofit are generally considered fair use. In these instances, the fair use copyright law allows one person or author to make use of another person or author?s work without asking permission to do so. In situations that do not fall within these specifications you are probably violating someone?s copyright if you use their work ? especially if you are using another person?s work for economic or commercial gain.
When you are trying to see if you can use another?s words, you should keep a few things in mind. The answer to the following questions will help you gage whether you would be violating a copyright. First, are you transforming someone else?s work or are you copying it? Second, are you going to be making any financial gains from your work that would compete with the original copyright holder? Third, do you have the author?s permission to quote their work? Just because you list the author and give credit to him or her does not protect you from infringing upon someone?s copyright. Fourth, how much of the original author?s work are you using? If you are using a substantial amount of another?s work, you are probably in direct violation of their copyright. Many publishing companies have set rules on how much material they will allow to be quoted in other sources. Some of these ranges start at 100 words or less. However, there are truly no standards to go by, so be careful. You can not assume that keeping your copying fewer than 50 words will allow you to pass under the radar ? especially if the original piece is hovering around 125 words itself! Lastly, what portion of another?s work are you using? If it is the meat of the book and the most important part of the book, you are probably in direct violation of the owner?s copyright.
With a little common sense it is not hard to decide if you are violating someone?s copyright. People who are truly interested in staying within the guidelines of the fair use copyright law usually do a good job of doing so. Many people push the fair use copyright law right up to the line, while others will blatantly cross over it without giving a second thought to the repercussions. When these people are summoned to court to answer for their vagrant disregard for the property and copyright of another they are usually sorry. Sorry they got caught! It is very important that people who take advantage of the fair use copyright law are held accountable for their actions. Without accountability many more people would follow in their footsteps and use another?s works as their own.
Definition of copyright infringement Protect Yourself: Know the Definition of Copyright Infringement As you?re creating something, you may wonder what copyright infringement actually is. It?s necessary, if you?re creating a work ? albeit written, musical, videos, software or some other form ? that you know the definition of copyright infringement. This issue is very complicated, and not very easily spelled out in plain English, so please make sure that if you?re ever unsure to contact a copyright lawyer immediately to ensure you?re using copyrights in a legal method appropriate to the medium. As I mentioned earlier, a definition of copyright infringement is difficult, at best. Copyright infringement is defined by the jurisdiction ? the United States of America has different copyright laws than the United Kingdom, or Australia, or Russia, or even China. Because of this fact, you should first, before anything else, check the laws in your jurisdiction (country, city & province) before using something that isn?t in the public domain. For our definition of copyright infringement, the public domain is a place where works are that aren?t copyright-able. Works that aren?t copyright-able include ideas, works that aren?t eligible (150 years-old documents, or older ? think Beethoven and Frankenstein), data that isn?t categorized in a creative way (this could be a database, such as a phone book or other publicly-accessible data), or items that the owners have specified creative commons copyrights. As you can see, copyright law is rather complicated. Wikipedia.org gives us the definition of copyright infringement as: ?Copyright infringement (or copyright violation) is the unauthorized use of material that is protected by intellectual property rights law particularly the copyright in a manner that violates one of the original copyright owner's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works that build upon it. The slang term bootleg (derived from the use of the shank of a boot for the purposes of smuggling) is often used to describe illicitly copied material.? Our definition of copyright infringement includes the works of creative commons. Creative commons is an organization that allows for the copyright author to determine the uses available for people who want to use their works ? for such items as for audio, images, video, text, educational materials, and software. It allows for the copyright owner to allow people to use their works for non-commercial, commercial, no derivatives, share alike, or just by giving attribution. Creative Commons is a license granted by the copyright holder, and can be used in both online (electronic internet) works and offline works. There are many places you can go to get a definition of copyright infringement. The most reliable definition of copyright infringement would be from your local copyright lawyer ? they will know exactly what in your jurisdiction is legal or not, and how you can use other peoples? works or protect your own. The real definition of copyright infringement comes from your jurisdictions statutes. In the United States of America, our jurisdiction?s copyright laws are contained in Title 17 of the United States Code, §501 - §513. You can also find a definition of copyright infringement through such organizations such as the European Union or World Trade Organizations. While s legal country or organizational definition of copyright infringement is hard for the layperson to understand, a copyright lawyer will help you to figure out what it is that your work needs to be protected against copyright infringement, or to protect yourself if you intend to use the work of another writer, director, or musician.
Events of copyright infringement The Events of Copyright Infringement: Innocent People Infringing Accidentally Copyright infringement is in the news a lot lately ? it?s hard to miss stories about kids being carted off to jail or seriously fined for downloading music or movies off the internet. I?ve even heard about a lady was fined for tens of thousands of dollars because of the events of copyright infringement ? her grandson downloading music, and she couldn?t prove it wasn?t her. The events of copyright infringement are complicated ? and not easy to define. Surfing the internet has its advantages and disadvantages, that?s for sure. We?re able to find useful information quickly, but how close are we pertaining to copyright laws? Do we even know what is and is not acceptable? A couple of the more pertinent questions have been asked below: If you hear a great new band, and then download a song from MySpace, is that legal or not? The events of copyright infringement are not only limited by Kazaa, Morpheus, or some other file sharing peer to peer (P2P) service. If you download a song - no matter if you?re on a website or a MySpace page - and it isn?t coming from the artist themselves, you may want to think about downloading it. Chances are, if it?s not coming from them, you can?t have it ? unless it is under a Creative Commons License. Creative Commons gives the exact ways in which you can use the license ? and many times those are completely free and legal to download ? so make sure you check if it?s under a CC License. If I?m writing a paper, or article, and I want to quote another website, can I? First of all, did you know the minute you write or create something, you hold the copyright to it? ESPECIALLY if you?re writing it online ? it?s very easy to track things in the internet page. So, if you?re writing a blog, all the things you?ve written (no matter good or bad) are there permanently, thanks to archive.org, and you can review last versions of your web pages. Sometimes, people we can use ? rather heavily ? someone else?s work in our own, and think we?re small and anonymous. That no one will notice by the time you get it down ? you?re just ?borrowing? it. Before you begin quoting anyone?s website ? from CNN to your local neighborhood hardware store ? you need to ask the person who holds the copyright if you can. Usually, they?ll let you if you attribute to them. Depending who you talk to, you?ll either have to pay royalties or license rights to republish. If you don?t ask before you quote, you?re beginning the events of copyright infringement and you are opening yourself up for a lawsuit. As you can see, the events of copyright infringement can begin at any time, beginning with normal ?everyday? activities. It?s just as easy to infringe on as it is to be infringed upon. Make sure you check your copyright using CopyScape or some other service, and you can check your work against other works on the internet, and make sure that you?re not infringing someone or vice versa. In this day it?s easy to protect yourself from getting infringed upon, and the events of copyright infringement are easy to track. It?s easy for innocent people to get caught in copyright infringement, like children they didn?t know what they could and couldn?t do. Make sure, in all you do, that you?re striving to do the best you can, and you?ll be certain not to fall victim to your own infringing demons.