IP Copyright. The Copyright Act.

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screen-shot-2017-01-08-at-6-59-07-pmThe Copyright Act provides the copyright owner with many safeguards to ensure that our content is protected.  Our job is to discover that copyright information, and use it to our advantage.  A thorough knowledge of the legal safeguards is important, which can come from law seminars, reading current legal information, and/or hiring a competent copyright attorney, who focuses on copyright law and copyright protection issues.

It is also important, as creative entrepreneurs and small business owners to avoid those actions that can get YOU into trouble.  It’s easy to inadvertently infringe someone else’s rights.  A person is said to be an infringer if he or she is found to have violated any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner such as,

  1. Right to reproduce or duplicate their work
  2. Right to display or post their work publicly
  3. Right to distribute copies of their work
  4. Right to perform their work publicly
  5. Right to sell, license, rent rights to others
  6. Right to create a derivative work (create a new work from an existing work, repurpose)

Some specific copyright  infringement examples:

  1.  Photocopying material (i.e., articles, testimonial letters, cartoons, website content, blogs), without permission, a license, or it falling within a legal exception (fair use, public domain)
  2. Downloading music from the Internet without permission, a license, or it falling within a legal exception (fair use, public domain)
  3. Copying other content from the Internet without permission, a license, or it falling within a legal exception (fair use, public domain)
  4. Synchronizing music to (adding copyright protected music) your user generated videos, without permission, a license, or it falling within a legal exception (fair use, public domain)
  5. Going beyond the scope of a license agreement (e.g., the license says you can use a video for a specific purpose, but you use it for something else; you have a license to make 10 copies of a book, article, etc., but you make 100 copies)
  6. Reproducing / uploading / Posting videos to your site, without permission, a license, or it falling within a legal exception (fair use, public domain)

Who can sue for copyright infringement? The general rule is that the copyright owner can sue.  But, as always, within the law, there are many exceptions and nuances.  For example, a person who was not the creator of the work, but who is considered the “beneficial owner” can also sue.  A beneficial owner is the person who has an interest in the property—even though they didn’t create it—such as an assignee, a trustee, or a legatee (an heir).

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