No matter where you are in this world, copyright exists. And there is a good reason why they do. Basically, once it is deemed fully established and that the work concerned falls within the parameters of this type of legal protection, a process takes place. It is to basically protect the rightful owner of the copyright.
There are tons of works eligible for copyright protection. These include, but not limited to, films, paintings, technical drawings, sketches, software, photographs, poems, musical compositions, and maps. Apparently, though, there is a commonly held misconception when it comes to works that have been published online: They are not protected by copyright.
What you probably did not know is that even if works are freely available on the internet, it does not necessarily mean you can adapt, copy, or even share them. Doing any of these is bound for copyright infringement.
Considering how rampant this has become in the world of online, it is really imperative to deploy safeguards. Only by doing so can you protect yourself from not unintentionally infringe on someone’s copyright. With that said, here are tips to avoid the possibility of copyright infringement online.
1. Always assume that the work is copyrighted
Before you are even to take any step moving forward, it is best to always assume that a work – regardless of its size, type, or whatnot – is copyrighted. This is a strict approach that you may find cumbersome when trying to use works found online. However, it can really help you big time and, more importantly, avoid the pitfalls of copyright infringement. Just because work can easily be downloaded or freely, it is not a good idea to assume it is already free to use.
2. Discuss with your lawyer
Keep in mind that copyright is – and always will be – a complex area of intellectual property law. If you fail to understand what it is and how things work in this subject, then expect yourself to face a deluge of serious legal consequences. So, before you step any further and bring yourself to these legal pitfalls, talk to your preferred torrent defense lawyer. The idea is pretty simple and straightforward: You need to seek legal advice, so you will know how to steer clear of copyright infringement.
3. Avoid copying, sharing, or altering without seeking permission
The very first step you need to do when trying to obtain permission in an attempt to use a copyrighted work is to determine the author. Your goal here is to find a way to contact and discuss with him the idea of using his work. For instance, you found an interesting photo online and you want to use it for your upcoming study. Before you even decide on using it, you need to contact first the owner of that photo and ask permission. And as you do so, make sure you are honest with your intention. Basically, it must be implied that he allows you to use his photo. As much as possible, you must try to put everything into writing and that you both come up with an agreement. It is the best way to avoid any legal pitfalls that could come when facing copyright issues.
4. Review and retain licensing agreements
When it comes to works acquired online – particularly those that are obtained via stock firms (i.e. Getty Images for photography) – they are automatically deemed under license agreements. Before you proceed with using even a single image, it is ideal that you start a review that different agreements first. Even more so, you need to keep copies in your records, especially since they contain terms on how these copyrighted works can be utilized.