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Play It Safe: Making Sure You're Not Committing Copyright Infringement
Copyright infringement is not an easy thing to explain. While it may seem as simple as not using someone else?s work, it?s not that easy. Thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and many other organizations, we have the ability to use others? works ? as long as we use it under ?fair use? laws. So what does fair use have to do with copyright infringement, and how can you utilize it?
Fair use laws are the conditions in which you can use a copyrighted work without having to pay someone royalties. This includes when you use a copyrighted work for educational or instructional uses, criticism of the work, commentaries on the work, news reporting about the work, teaching on the work (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship uses, and research. This is talked about fully in Section 107 of the Copyright Code (commonly called Fair Use) and is available for you to read at your local library.
Copyright Infringement in day-to-day life
Sometimes, if you?re writing a paper for work or school, or if you are creating a Power Point presentation, you need to use someone?s work that is already in copyright. So how do you use it without committing copyright infringement? All you have to do is ask ? the worst they can say is no, right? But, if they do say no, there are several items in the public domain which may help you to finish your project without having to commit copyright infringement.
What is the public domain, and how does it relate to copyright infringement?
Material that is not copyrighted is considered in the public domain ? you cannot commit copyright infringement on works in the public domain. These works include things that the copyright has expired on, or is not copyright-able ? such as government publications, jokes, titles, and ideas. Some creators (writers, musicians, artists, and more) deliberately put their work in the public domain, without ever obtaining copyright, by providing an affiliation with Creative Commons. Creative Commons allows people who create materials to forfeit some, or all, of their copyright rights and place their work either partially or fully in the public domain.
So, how do I ensure I?m not committing copyright infringement?
First of all, if you?re going to use someone else?s material, you may want to check the public domain to see if something is suitable for use, instead of trying to use someone else?s copyright. However, if you can?t find something suitable (and you can?t create something yourself), the next best thing (and your only legal course of action) is to find a piece that is in copyright, and contacting the copyright holder.
When you contact the copyright holder, make sure you tell them what you want to use their piece for ? whether it?s for your blog, podcast, or report ? and ask them if you can use it. You may have to pay royalties, or an attribution in your piece, or a combination of both. The creator may also place many limitations on when and how you can use their material. Follow all these instructions they give you, and you?ll be free and clear to use their work as you want.
Once you have permission to use a copyrighted work, you need to make sure you stay within the agreed-upon boundaries - if you veer outside their agreed terms, you may open yourself up for a copyright infringement lawsuit ? which can be nasty, costly, and time consuming. If you?re in doubt, before contacting the copyright holder, contact a copyright lawyer to ensure you?re following the law ? and protect yourself!
Movie Copyright Law College Students Are Being Targeted For Breaking Movie Copyright Law Many people have taken up the hobby of downloading movies and songs on the Internet and sharing them with their friends and family online. However, this is direct violation of the movie copyright law. Not surprisingly, the biggest violators of the movie copyright law are students. It is not surprising that the movie industry sector is sending out copyright infringements claims to college universities around the country. One reason that college students may be the hardest hit when it comes to violations brought against them for infringing on movie copyright law is that they are not aware of how serious a crime it truly it. Many college students who have suits brought against them are shocked, to say the least. They question why they were not warned about the perils of downloading movies and songs online and passing them along to friends. However, with the rise of claims that are being handed down, no one can claim ignorance for much longer. Word is being spread near and far that if you are engaging in illegal downloading and/or sharing then you can be brought to court. College students are learning the hard way that it is against the law and in violation of the movie copyright law to share or download copyrighted material. Many colleges and universities are now stating in their handbooks that it is against the law and the university rules to illegally download movies, music and other forms of media online using a school computer. In addition to illegal downloading and sharing software, the files take up space on the computer systems and use a considerable amount of bandwidth. While most universities and colleges will not look at the content an individual has -- they can isolate and identify the individuals who are hogging up the bandwidth by using illegal file sharing software. The movie and music industries have stepped in and are demanding restitution for illegally downloaded movies, music and other forms of copyrighted media. They have detection agencies that have the technology to identify and trace copyright infringements straight to their source. Once the computer is located they can notify the university or the college that they are in violation. The university will be told that they have a copyright infringement claim against them. Based on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act once the computer is isolated Internet access is terminated to that computer and court proceedings can begin. Does this sound far fetched? Well, it is not. You should know that in April of 2003 four students were sued by Recording Industry Association of America. These students attended Princeton, Michigan Technical University and Rensselear Polytechnic Institute. One student alone had an estimated liability of $150 billion. When you consider that you can be charged $750 per song that is illegally downloaded, the total can add up fast! The good thing is the lawsuits against the college students were settled for amounts less than $20,000. That is not pocket change for college students ? or anyone for that matter! Movies and music are meant to be enjoyed. However, illegally downloading movies and music is not much different than walking into a video store and sticking DVDs and CDs in your pocket. Be careful. You do not want to be caught violating the movie copyright law.
Steps on Reinventing yourself to Land a Better Job Having a decent job can greatly improve the quality of your life. You probably spend a fair amount of time at work. With that in mind, you do not want to be miserable when you are at work. If you want a better job, make yourself more attractive to employers. This task may be easier than you think. Start making some simple changes and watch the job offers begin to appear. The number one way to reinvent yourself in order to land a better job is to reform your attitude. Even if you are working at a nightmare of a job at the moment, you need to fight to stay positive. That negativity can be seen a mile away. You may not realize it but your face expression, posture and quality of work give off your frustration. This attitude is the first thing that has to go. Simple ways to change the way you feel about your current job include being on time and in uniform or proper dress code. These are two easy steps that will give you more pride about yourself. If you are out of dress code and late, you are not just making statement about the job. You are making a statement about yourself. Change these aspects of your working environment and you will be on your way to increasing positive energy. Take some classes. Whether you have a degree or not, brushing up on skills is always a good idea. No matter what your schedule is like, you can find time for a class or two. Use the Internet and take online classes if time is a major issue. Work at your own pace and pick up new skills. A degree or a couple of classes will make you more attractive to employers. Move away. If you are tired of dust collecting on your Communications degree while you wait tables, move to a place where your degree is more marketable. Find an area where the job market is fertile. When the economy goes south, certain job types are completely eliminated. If you are eager to find a better job you may have to go somewhere else to do it. Apply for higher positions in the company that you currently work for at the moment. Even if you are not really that thrilled about the current company you work for, while you are there you should make the best of it. Get as much experience as you can so that you will have a nice extensive work history to refer to when you are looking for a new job. If you want a better job, do some networking. Take advantage of the people that you know that have better jobs. Surround yourself with people that are working at jobs that they enjoy or are successful at. This is a great way to pave the way for yourself to get a better job. Figure out what type of job you want before you start looking. Narrow down the search and target the positions that fall in line with the jobs that you are most interested in. If you a constantly saying that you want a better job but don?t have any idea what the better job is, you are not going to be very successful in you search. Have a job in mind before you start your search. Join networking sites. These sites can be used for networking for jobs among other things. Be sure that you take the professional route when you put up your page. Let employers know that you are serious about finding a job. Do not post pictures of yourself at parties or in questionable positions.