Friday, April 20, 2012

4 Myths of Infringement

Myth 1: A work must have the copyright notice for copyright protection to be in force. This has not been true since April 1, 1989. We use the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. It requires that copyright must be automatic and prohibits formal registration.

Myth 2: Anything posted on the World Wide Web is in the public domain. While works published before 1923 are in the public domain, much of what is available on the web is more recent and will not be in the public domain for decades. To be in the public domain, the words “This work is dedicated to the public domain” must be present.

Myth 3: There’s no copyright infringement if I’m not selling the copyrighted material. If you use copyrighted material for any reason, you are guilty of infringement, whether or not you profit from the use. The author has the exclusive right to control what is done with the work.

Myth 4: If it doesn’t hurt anyone, it isn’t copyright infringement.
It isn’t up to the user to decide whether the owner has been hurt by the copyright infringement. Even if you can’t imagine how the owner might be hurt, it isn’t your right to decide.

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