Copyright Compliance

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    Are You Engaging in Copyright Violations?

    Since all of us are now publishers online, it’s extremely important to be aware of, and abide by, U.S. Copyright Law.

    Technical Aspects of Copyright Law

    According to our often-qouted source Wikipedia, ” Today copyright laws are partially standardized through international and regional agreements such as the Berne Convention and the WIPO Copyright Treaty. Although there are consistencies among nations’ copyright laws, each jurisdiction has separate and distinct laws and regulations covering copyright. National copyright laws on licensing, transfer and assignment of copyright still vary greatly between countries and copyrighted works are licensed on a territorial basis.”

    Laymen’s Language

    What you need to know as a Marketer is this:

    • Works by a creator are protected from others’ use for a certain period of time.
    • Works are not just limited to text, but include photos and other images, video, maps, sound recordings, computer programs, and many other types.
    • Most works do not need to be registered to be under copyright protection. Hence, even if you don’t see the familiar symbol (c) , the work may likely be protected.
    • After a certain period of time, the copyright protection will end, and the work will “enter the public domain”.

    Exceptions to Copyright Protection

    Some uses may be covered under limitations and exceptions to copyright, such as fair use. As such, they do not require permission from the copyright owner to use the work.

    But be careful. This is tricky stuff. I highly recommend that you consult a copyright attorney before you use any material that is even remotely possibly a copyright protected work.

    Copyright owners can license or permanently transfer or assign their exclusive rights to others. Usually, the owners charge a licensing fee, which is never predictable and always at the sole discretion of the owner.

    Copyright Infringement

    “Copyright infringement, or copyright violation, is the unauthorized use of works covered by copyright law, in a way that violates one of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works.” (Wikipedia) Infringement is a serious legal violation, with serious consequences. Just DON’T do it!

    Have you encountered instances of copyright infringement, or piracy?

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    For more resources, see our Library topics Marketing and Social Networking.

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    ABOUT Lisa M. Chapman:

    Ms. Chapman’s new book has a name change! The Net-Powered Entrepreneur – A Step-by-Step Guide will be available very soon. With offices in Nashville Tennessee, but working virtually with international clients, Lisa M. Chapman serves her clients as a business and marketing coach, business planning consultant and social media consultant. As a Founder of iBrand Masters, a social media consulting firm, Lisa Chapman helps clients to establish and enhance their online brand, attract their target market, engage them in meaningful social media conversations, and convert online traffic into revenues. Email: Lisa @ LisaChapman.com