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What is copyright infringement
What Is Copyright Infringement? The Layperson's Copyright Primer
Copyright laws are constantly changing, and knowing exactly what copyright infringement is, whether you?re creating an eBook, publishing articles, using music as a backtrack to your podcast - or what have you - is essential to selling your online media. Although the laws change from one jurisdiction to another, knowing the basic rules of copyright infringement will ensure you?re following the proper rules of engagement when it comes to creating your works. Before you make any final decisions regarding the use of a work that has been copyrighted, please contact a copyright attorney to ensure you?re following the law ? this will keep you from being sued or, even worse, punished in a court of law.
What is Copyright Infringement?
Copyright infringement, as defined by Wikipedia.org, states: ?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.?
So, what is copyright infringement in plain English? It means that if you?re not allowed to use something, then don?t use it ? plain and simple. It can be very simple to get permission to use a work ? many times you?ll be able to use a ?sample? of music or excerpt of written work for a nominal fee, or small attribution. However, if you do not have the permission of the copyright holder ? whether it?s an author or a publishing house ? you can be sued for copyright infringement or worse.
What is Copyright Infringement in America?
In many jurisdictions, such as the United States of America, this act is known as a strict liability crime or tort (a tort is a civil wrong ? not a criminal wrong). This means that the person who infringes the copyright - whether intentionally or not - will be responsible for the damage or loss. Also, the prosecutor (in criminal court) or plaintiff (in civil court) must only prove that the act of copying was committed by the defendant ? they do not need to prove guilty intent. This means, even if you had no intention of committing copyright fraud or infringement, you can (and in present times, in many cases, WILL) be prosecuted, even if you used the material in good faith.
What is Copyright Infringement in action?
Many cases of copyright infringement are difficult to see to the layperson, because the violation is not limited to exact copying. In many cases, when something is inspired by another thing ? such as in music, when the inspiration of one song is used to create an entirely different song ? it?s difficult to see where the new product or ?thing? has crossed the line to something illegal. Some works aren?t even protected by copyright, such as compilation of facts that lack the creativity necessary to be covered by copyright, or works that are in the public domain because the copyright has expired. Knowing the difference is often very difficult to see, and because of this we?ve seen a number of copyright infringement cases in recent years, especially in tandem with the music industry.
As you can see, copyright infringement is a very difficult, albeit necessary, act to define. However, if you make sure that you?re using works that are in the public domain, or have long since been out of copyright (think Beethoven or Frankenstein) you?ll be safe. Do you fair research, and if you have any questions contact a copyright lawyer and ask ?what is copyright infringement? to learn the most up-to-date information for your jurisdiction.
Non copyright music downloads Non Copyright Music Downloads Offer Growing Options for Music Collections Non copyright music downloads are growing in popularity and providing much needed exposure to many 'starving artists'. The truth of the matter is that many artists are turning to open source applications or creative commons licensing which allows them to provide their music to others while still retaining their ownership. It's a great idea that has actually worked quite well within the software community and is just now taking hold within the music industry. The idea of services such as this that offer non copyright music downloads to consumers for their listening pleasure is a relatively new concept that is beginning to take hold throughout the online music community. It is important to remember that while there are a few names that are recognizable and reputable in this particular industry there are also those that have less scruples than others and are more than willing to take advantage of music lovers for the fees they will pay and/or a credit card number and personal information. It is always wise to be aware of the information you are sharing online and to take great pains not to give information to companies that aren't absolutely secure and reputable. There are so many 'back room' websites that offer you unlimited music downloads for a yearly or lifetime subscription fee that sounds to good to be true. The problem is that many of these have a very limited selection of non copyright music downloads or quality music and only offer substandard and non mainstream music that no one has ever heard of or they offer music sharing that is not at all legal and puts you in a precarious legal position. The law holds you accountable for what you do rather than what you understand you are doing more often than not. Thinking you have non copyright music downloads is not the same as actually having them. So don't believe everything you see when it comes to defining legal and illegal music downloads. Find companies that have good reputations and don't go with cheaper services that are suspect and vague in their description of services. Non copyright music downloads or open source music is still relatively new. There are a lot of questions that leave a lot of room for misunderstandings, confusion, and consumers being taken advantage of. Educate yourself before subscribing to any of these services. Check out several do searches online to see if there is any negative feedback about these companies, read the feedback and see what people have to say. You can't believe all the negative you read but if many people complain about selection or quality it's quite likely that they don't have a good selection or great quality. Know what you want and find a service that will give it to you in non copyright music downloads. Another thing to know about non copyright music downloads is that many of these services are not offered free. There are expenses involved for the company, the hosting, website advertising, the fees they pay the artist, and any other number of fees-also keep in mind that this is a very time consuming business for them and they have overhead costs in addition to wanting to get paid as well. Remember this is a business for them. You should not expect less of open source music than you expect from other music that you pay a subscription in order to download. Non copyright music downloads are definitely the wave of the future and the technology had better be able to keep up with the demands of consumers.
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.