by Cameron Clifton

5 Copyright Myths

There are a lot of myths about copyright, and they are the sort of myths that can hurt you if you believe them. If you are blogging, making websites, preparing written reports relying on material from the internet (like everyone does) you may easily breach copyright without knowing it. See below to find out if you understand copyright.

Copyright myths busted:

Myth 1: Once something is posted on the internet, it loses copyright protection. Wrong. Publication in any medium does not impact on copyright ownership at all. The creator still owns the copyrighted work and can sue you for infringing your copyright.

Myth 2: I can copy someone’s work if I give credit for it. Wong. You have to have permission. Taking the work and giving credit is not the same as permission. So always ask. Some websites in particular will say you can use the material on it if you give credit. But that is a decision for the content owner alone. So check.

Myth 3: If I alter the work by 10% the copyright no longer exists. Wrong. You only need to copy a substantial part of the work to infringe copyright. The 10% rule is just a made up concept that won’t die, so don’t buy into that. Myth 4: You can do what you like if the person hasn’t “copyrighted” their work Wrong. Copyright automatically attaches to all original work. You don’t have to register it anywhere. You certainly don’t need that little © symbol either. 

Myth 5: You can do what you like so long as you don’t make money from it Wrong. A person’s copyright work is their sole property. You can not use it at all, unless you get permission. It’s no different to a person’s house. You can’t come in without an invitation. It’s the same thing. 

So be aware. Copyright material is often something created over a lot of time, and there is often a lot of expense sunk into it too. The owners of copyright material can and do issue court proceedings to protect their rights. It’s best not to infringe them in the first place. If want to use the material, give the owner a call. They might be quite flattered and let you use it for nothing!

Legal, Copyright, Websites

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