What Is Copyright Infringement?

Copyright infringement happens frequently. Sharing an image on social media is common nowadays, and while this may be rather innocuous, it can also be a costly mistake. Are you fond of writing personal blogs or are an avid social media user? You may wish to augment your post with an image, a piece of art, or even music, for your personal blog or website. Unfortunately, this is what has led to the rise of copyright infringement cases.

The Costs of Copyright Infringement

There is very little in the way of defending a copyright infringement case. If discovered, the individual can be fined hundreds and even thousands of dollars, depending on circumstances. Digital copyright is especially rampant, but can often be difficult to pinpoint. Sometimes, the laws are explicit and clearly set the various penalties. Other times, it is vague. Furthermore, using the Internet allows browsers a great deal of freedom, while not offering much protection to copyrighted content.

“Fair Use” Technology

These cases tend to be cut and dry. For the most parts, if there is evidence that the user used the content and did not obtain permission from the creator or owner. So, is there a way to protect yourself from accidentally using copyrighted material? “Fair use” technology is widely available and may include in areas such as academia, research, teaching, commentaries, parodies, news reports, and some research. There are numerous works available in the public domain, or “uncopyrighted” works, many of which lose copyright due to age, or other circumstances.

Be aware, though, that the laws regarding fair use can also be unclear. As a general rule, if you are not sure where who owns the material, best not to use it unless you have express permission first.

Do you have additional questions about copyright laws? Are you the creator of a body of work and want to learn more about your intellectual property rights? Bring your questions to Dossey & Jones, PLLC! Our Montgomery County lawyers are ready to address your legal concerns.

All information provided is strictly for informative purposes, and not to be taken as legal advice.
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