Archive for the ‘fair use’ Category

Can you REALLY copy an ENTIRE news article online and claim fair use?

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

[Originally published at]

Yes. Really. Well, sometimes. Maybe. (How’s that for an answer?) The answer is sometimes yes, at least according to a recent decision in a copyright infringement case between purported copyright “troll” Righthaven and its latest defendant, Wayne Hoehn.

Hoehn is a Vietnam veteran who posted all 19 paragraphs of November editorial from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, owned by Stephens Media. Righthaven is a Las Vegas-based company co-owned by its CEO and founder Steve Gibson and Stevens Media, owner of approximately 70 media outlets, including the Las Vegas Review-Journal. (more…)

Do you know? How long does copyright last?

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

The answer to this question is more complex than it seems. The short answer is, it depends. Generally, the term of copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus seventy years after the author’s death for works created after January 1, 1978. But for early works the duration of copyright protection depends on if the work was published and, if so, the date of publication. Additionally there special rules for anonymous and pseudonymous works, as well as works made for hire.

Click here to access a helpful chart to determine whether a particular literary or artistic work may be under copyright protection. [Source: Cornell University]

[© 2011 Tonya M. Evans. This post may be “shared socially” and republished provided this post is copied in its entirety and copyright and byline information is included for attribution. “This post is republished with permission from Copyright 2011 Tonya M. Evans”]

Click here for more info on copyright from Legal Write Publications

Freelancer pays $4,000 for a $10 Photo Due to Copyright Infringement

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

The San Francisco Chronicle reported recently that Webcopyplus web writing services settled out of court for $4,000 when faced with a copyright infringement suit for the unauthorized use of a copyrighted photo. A senior web copyrighter explained the company is publicizing the settlement to warn others about the potential pitfalls of infringement in this cut & paste 21st century:

“Like many other creative types in the web industry, our copywriters were not clear on image copyright laws, and we were taught an expensive lesson,” said Rick Sloboda.

More information about what copyright is, what is and is not permitted and what uses are considered “fair”.

Read the full article at The San Francisco Chronicle

The Difference between Fair Use and Public Domain

Monday, November 8th, 2010

There is no set number of words you can use under what’s called the fair use doctrine. This doctrine permits use of copyrighted materials without the owner’s permission for certain purposes listed in the Copyright Act, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. While technically infringing on the copyright owner’s rights, these uses are considered permissible; and such fair use can be used as a defense against a claim of copyright infringement. Note that it is not sufficient simply to acknowledge the source of the copyrighted material.

The Copyright Act provides four factors to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether fair use or infringement exists.

1. Character or purpose of use

2. Nature of the copyrighted work

3. Amount and substantiality of the copied work

4. Effect on the potential market

The concept of fair use should not be confused with the concept of public domain. When a work is in the public domain it has no copyright protection. Therefore, the public —rather than a particular individual or entity—owns the work.

A work might be in the public domain for one of four reasons:

1. The term of copyright protection has expired

2. The owner failed to fulfill a requirement and lost copyright protection

3. The work was created by the U.S. Government

4. The owner dedicated the work to the public domain

As a rule of thumb, registered works created before 1923 are now in the public domain.

Click here for more information about copyright, fair use and public domain.

New audio download just added–Copyright for Writers on the Web!

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Copyright for Writers on the Web – Audio DL

CD-ROM and locksThe audio to this popular class was just added to our online store. Topics covered include:

  • Copyright basics (what, when & how) and also a bit about trademark law (how it’s different from copyright and why it’s important)
  • What is protected by copyright on the Internet
  • Common types of infringement on the Internet
  • Fair use, public domain and permissions
  • Copyright and your website, blog and domain name
  • The importance of copyright registration, even and especially for works on the Internet and a bit about the difference between fair use and public domain.

For more information about our future classes, including how to save on books and audio downloads, visit the Legal Write Publications Classes page.