Today information is available freely through the internet. However, this doesn’t imply it’s a free copy. As internet user, you should know how copyright laws work on the internet. This article tries to explain just that. Read on…
Similar legislation and principles governing hard-copy works apply to electronic material formats. The major difference is that, through their nature, internet or electronic materials are quite easy via networks to access, copy, manipulate, as well as distribute.
When you’re using material or information from the internet, it’s crucial to remember that, unless stated explicitly otherwise, most of such sources are subject to copyright restrictions, and are going to be the property of the copyright holder. Therefore, even when there’s no copyright statement on the information or materials you’re looking at, you shouldn’t take it for granted that it’s copyright-free. Among other things:
- Always look for terms and conditions or copyright notices of use which are stated on resources themselves.
- Just because it’s simple or easy to access, you shouldn’t assume the information posted on the internet is available freely to be used the way you choose.
- You shouldn’t assume that if there’s no copyright notice on the information or material, it can be freely copied.
- Copying somebody’s else web page to be tailored for your own purpose constitutes copyright infringement, unless you obtain permission.
- Copyright applies to illustrations and logos together with text. You shouldn’t utilize these without permission.
Know that images on the internet aren’t copyright-free. You should take care in their use. There are many sources of royalty-free pictures and images on the internet. And these sites will quite clearly state the terms and conditions of their use. And many of them are going to permit their work to be copied for noncommercial purposes. If it’s not clear from the site that the rights holder is happy for the image to be used for your specific purpose, always seek for permission prior to doing so.
You should acknowledge your source always. Never change the image.
There might be several copyrights when it comes to screenshots. These include graphics and fonts among others. When utilizing these for learning and teaching purposes, you should avoid any change or alteration to the original and any kind of misleading labelling.
Care should be taken with the use of company logos, specifically where they are used when clicking through a web page. Note that such kind of use, without permission, is an infringement on the company’s trademark.
The Copyright, Designs & Patents Act (1998) allows people to make a single copy of some “reasonable proportion” of musical, literary, and artistic works for their own research or private studies for noncommercial purposes, under the terms of “fair dealing”.