Copyright laws can be pretty complicated to get your head round if you’re new to them. Nevertheless, anyone running a business or doing anything creative needs to understand them in order to avoid getting caughting up in messy legal proceedings. That’s something that can and does happen as a result of people not really understanding copyright infringement. We’ve going to cover a few of the important things you need to know about it below, so read on to learn more.
Assume Copyright Protection
A good rule to live by when it comes to copyright and copyright protected materials is to simply assume things are copyrighted when you’re not sure. Of course, you can do some research and get to the bottom of the ownership rights. But if you’re not sure and you don’t want to take any risks that might land you in hot water later, just assume that it is copyrighted and that you probably shouldn’t use it. That’s the safety mentality to adopt.
Fair Use Laws Are Applicable
There are ways in which you can use copyrighted materials as a way of illustrating a point of some sort. Fair use laws allow you to take copyrighted materials and adapt them or offer some sort of commentary on them. That doesn’t mean using them for your own promotional ends. Instead, it’s about taking something and giving a new meaning and purpose to it, such as when someone reviews artistic material online, using samples, screenshots and similar.
It Can Ruin Businesses
It’s important not to underestimate the power and importance of copyright laws and the matter of copyright infringement. These things are important and that can’t be ignored. Companies like Moon Pod are dealing with problems related to copyright and patent laws. And many businesses have been completely ruined by mistakes in these areas. You won’t want that to happen to yours.
Assuming Everyone Does it is Not an Excuse
If you’re thinking of taking something and using it even though it’s copyrighted and you’re justifying it by saying that everyone does it so it’s not a big deal, you’re wrong. Even if someone else is getting away with it, that doesn’t mean you will. And it certainly won’t hold up in a court of law as any kind of credible defense.
Copyright Infringement Can be Indirect
It’s also important that you and your business are aware of the ways in which copyright infringement can be committed indirectly. Taking a work that breaks copyright and reproducing it, even if you don’t commit the original act of infringement, is still considered copyright infringement. So be careful with examples like that one.
As you can see, there are many important things that you need to understand about copyright and copyright infringement. There’s more to understand than can be covered here though, and laws differ depending on your location, so be sure to do some more digging and widen the breadth of your understanding of this topic and how it applies to you.