August 19, 2013 | last updated August 22, 2013 2:20 pm

10 Things I Know About ... Copyright


Ingrassia

(Note: The following information should not be construed as legal advice.)

10. Establish Best Practices
Copyright is very fact based; every situation is unique.

9. Paying Attention Is Crucial
It's easy to search, copy, cut/paste, and send without giving a thought to who owns the rights to the work. But it's also easy for the copyright owner to track down illegal use of their intellectual property. Financial penalties for copyright infringement can be substantial.

8. Copyright Is Automatic
As soon as an original creative work is set in a tangible medium (print or digital), it's copyrighted. Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is no longer required.

7. The © Is No Longer Required
Assume that a work is copyrighted until you can determine otherwise. This includes printed or digital documents, email messages, blog posts, videos, CDs and DVDs — even notes written on a paper napkin.

6. Four Factors Of Fair Use
You may be able to establish a "Fair Use" defense if you use a copyrighted work. Four factors must be carefully analyzed, weighed and documented: the purpose of your use, the nature of the work, how much you use and the effect of the use on the potential market.

5. Read Terms And Conditions
Just because you can right click doesn't mean you should. "Terms and Conditions of Use" on a website explains what you're permitted to do with that content.

4. Don't Just Grab Any Online Image
Chances are good that it's copyrighted. Limit your online searches to "free to use" images or sites. Search the public domain and Creative Commons.

3. Watch What You Post
By using a social media site, you give the owner the right to re-use your post.

2. Attribution Is Not Permission
Attribution/citation is essential but does not give you permission to use the work. It protects against "plagiarism," but not "copyright infringement."

1. Manage Copyright. Don't Let It Manage You.
Weigh the risks and benefits. And remember: Copyright also protects your original works.

Barbara Ingrassia, research and development manager at the MotivAct Group, in Holden, holds a certificate in copyright management. Contact her at
barb@motivactgroup.com.

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