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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.
Yes, Freebies are Real! If you tell someone that something is free, they immediately start looking for the catch. After all, the words of wisdom ?there is no such thing as a free lunch? have usually been proven true for people time and again throughout life, and so a healthy cynicism towards free stuff usually springs up with good reason. If you are one of these skeptical types, however, you may be missing out on some really great stuff. The truth is that you CAN get free things that are really and truly free, and yes, actually worth having. You just have to know where to look. OK, here is where the caveat comes in. The definition of ?free? often depends on the definition of ?cost.? As any economist can tell you, cost really doesn?t only come down to how much money you have to hand over to get something. There are additional costs, like inconvenience and time spent doing something. And true, some freebies have these ?non monetary? kinds of costs associated with them. You have to balance all of the costs with the value of the free stuff you are getting and decide if it is worth it to you. The two biggest costs associated with freebies? Time and convenience are at the top of the list. Time is a big factor in many free offers. Companies want a bit of your time in exchange for their free products. Indeed, some companies literally want hours of your time. Have you ever taken advantage of one of those ?free weekend vacation? offers in which you received free accommodation in a beach house or condo for a weekend in exchange for suffering through a long presentation and intense sales pitch? For some people, they can handle the presentation and have no qualms about refusing to buy anything and the free vacation more than makes up for it. Other people would rather pay any price to avoid having to listen to one of these spiels. So, while these weekends are freebies, for some people, they cost too much. More often, a company wants your time in a less obvious way ? they want you to spend time filling out forms. These forms may simply be your name, address and email address, or they may be very lengthy, quizzing you about buying habits and the like. The reason the companies want you to do these forms is often for market research, and they are more than happy to give you a freebie in exchange for this. Many people find the time spent filling out these forms will worth it to get a great free product. Convenience is the other cost involved with many freebies. Time and convenience go hand in hand in some cases ? after all, it may not be especially convenient to fill out form after form simply because it is time consuming, but convenience takes another hit from freebies in the form of spam email. Often, signing up for a freebie can land you on a spam email list, and for some people, getting tons of spam is so inconvenient that they would rather pay full price. The truth about all of these costs of freebies is that the freebie is in the eye of the beholder. You have to decide what you are willing to put up with in order to get a free product. Once you know the limits to your freebie costs, than you can cash in on some really great products that don?t cost you a dime. When you spend five minutes filling out a form and get rewarded with a free DVD player that you have been wanting, you will realize that there are free things out there to be had.
Filling Out Surveys Could Equal Free Stuff! Did you know that you could get great freebies simply by filling out surveys? It's true?while you may not be able to get rich off of filling out surveys, you will certainly be able to get your fill of great freebies. Here are some tips for filling out freebies so you too can get great free stuff. One of the Web's Best Sites for Filling Out Surveys for Free Stuff There are many fine websites that offer freebies. One of the best websites for finding free stuff is known as MyPoints BonusMail. This website operates as a shopper's reward program. It is fast, easy and totally free to join MyPoints BonusMail. What can this shopping rewards program do for you? It is easy, and did we mention free? All you have to do is to fill out the registration form. After signing up with MyPoints BonusMail, you will begin to receive offers in your email inbox. You set your own personal preferences when you sign up about the number of emails you wish to receive on a weekly basis. In order to complete the registration process, you will be asked to take a short survey about your shopping preferences and general interests. You will only receive emails in your in box regarding the preferences you have indicated. The programs works through point accumulation. When you have accumulated a certain number of points, you will qualify for gift cards to some of your favorite retail centers and merchants, including big names like Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart and many others. How do you accumulate points? You get points by making purchases directly through the MyPoints website. You also accumulate points by reading emails and clicking on the promotional links. Finally, you can also gain points by filling out surveys. MyPoints BonusMail is a long-established website that has helped shoppers get something back every time that they make a purchase. Finding the Best in Freebie Surveys Why does filling out surveys often result in free stuff? Filling out surveys is an easy, efficient and relatively accurate way for companies to find out what is on the mind of the general consuming public. Many companies will often offer free samples or products to consumers who are willing to take the time to fill out a full survey. Thus, filling out surveys can be a great way for companies to get some relatively cheap market research done. Don't expect to get rich off filling out surveys, but do expect some kind of compensation, even if it is only a free sample of a popular product. Freebie Sites Are Often a Good Place to Find Freebie Surveys There are many well-regarded websites that specialize in web freebies. If you already have a good spate of freebie websites bookmarked, these sites are wonderful resources for finding legitimate freebie surveys. Many of these sites offer a compendium of the latest surveys and companies offering freebies and product samples. Word to the Wise ? Be Wary if It Seems Too Good to Be True If it seems to good to be true, it probably is. This is the rule in life, and it rings true when it comes to the practice of filling out surveys for freebies. Here are some short and easy guidelines for avoiding non-legit surveys. Never fill out a survey that requires you to divulge too much information. You should especially avoid surveys that ask for personal contact information, as the survey may be just a front to gain sales contact information. Is that free sample of detergent really worth getting on telemarketers to-call lists? Be careful to whom you hand over your information.
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.