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Play It Safe: Making Sure You're Not Committing Copyright Infringement
Copyright infringement is not an easy thing to explain. While it may seem as simple as not using someone else?s work, it?s not that easy. Thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and many other organizations, we have the ability to use others? works ? as long as we use it under ?fair use? laws. So what does fair use have to do with copyright infringement, and how can you utilize it?
Fair use laws are the conditions in which you can use a copyrighted work without having to pay someone royalties. This includes when you use a copyrighted work for educational or instructional uses, criticism of the work, commentaries on the work, news reporting about the work, teaching on the work (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship uses, and research. This is talked about fully in Section 107 of the Copyright Code (commonly called Fair Use) and is available for you to read at your local library.
Copyright Infringement in day-to-day life
Sometimes, if you?re writing a paper for work or school, or if you are creating a Power Point presentation, you need to use someone?s work that is already in copyright. So how do you use it without committing copyright infringement? All you have to do is ask ? the worst they can say is no, right? But, if they do say no, there are several items in the public domain which may help you to finish your project without having to commit copyright infringement.
What is the public domain, and how does it relate to copyright infringement?
Material that is not copyrighted is considered in the public domain ? you cannot commit copyright infringement on works in the public domain. These works include things that the copyright has expired on, or is not copyright-able ? such as government publications, jokes, titles, and ideas. Some creators (writers, musicians, artists, and more) deliberately put their work in the public domain, without ever obtaining copyright, by providing an affiliation with Creative Commons. Creative Commons allows people who create materials to forfeit some, or all, of their copyright rights and place their work either partially or fully in the public domain.
So, how do I ensure I?m not committing copyright infringement?
First of all, if you?re going to use someone else?s material, you may want to check the public domain to see if something is suitable for use, instead of trying to use someone else?s copyright. However, if you can?t find something suitable (and you can?t create something yourself), the next best thing (and your only legal course of action) is to find a piece that is in copyright, and contacting the copyright holder.
When you contact the copyright holder, make sure you tell them what you want to use their piece for ? whether it?s for your blog, podcast, or report ? and ask them if you can use it. You may have to pay royalties, or an attribution in your piece, or a combination of both. The creator may also place many limitations on when and how you can use their material. Follow all these instructions they give you, and you?ll be free and clear to use their work as you want.
Once you have permission to use a copyrighted work, you need to make sure you stay within the agreed-upon boundaries - if you veer outside their agreed terms, you may open yourself up for a copyright infringement lawsuit ? which can be nasty, costly, and time consuming. If you?re in doubt, before contacting the copyright holder, contact a copyright lawyer to ensure you?re following the law ? and protect yourself!
Learning How to Become a Writer in Three Steps (how to become a writer) Becoming a writer is hardly a simple feat. To become a writer a person must practice and work hard to become a writer. It can be said that many writers are writers, but few of them know how to become a writer. The label ?writer? is just simply a label, it is all the hard work and determination of reaching that status that truly gives the writer that name, and makes them worthy of the title. There are three simple steps that any writing can take that will give the title of ?writer,? while making them worthy of it. The first step to becoming a writer is to claim yourself as a writer. Many writers believe that they cannot be known as writers until they are published, but this is not true. Anyone who thinks of themselves as a writer, and writes on regular basis should title themselves as a writer. Many unpublished writers have the habit of saying they want to write, or saying that they write, instead of saying ?I?m a writer. When learning how to become a writer, it is necessary for writers to realize that you don?t have to be published to be known as a writer. Although, it may seem ideal for introductions and make it easier for other to see you as a writer, being published does not make one a writer. Writers should see themselves as people who write, and not as people who write for a living. For most writers, being published is validation of their status as a writer and even a path to success, but there are many published writers who are not very successful, famous, or rich. However, being published is a great way to show your work to an audience, and gain recognition, no matter how big or small. On the path to becoming writing there are many who lose sight of the fact that they don?t stop writing once they are published, so it is not wise to only write to be published. There are many ways to claim yourself as a writer, and in this step to learning how to become a writer there are smaller steps that help you proclaim yourself as a writer. First, say the words aloud to yourself, and repeat them as many times as possible until they are believable to you and others around you. Next, find a specific place for your writing, which can be a room, section of a room, or a studio. It is also important to make the ?writing space? as comfortable as possible, and to make it viable to your writing needs. Then, it is important to get the proper writing tools, such as pens, pencils, notebooks, and a computer that is used specifically for your writing. Aspiring writers can also find lessons on how to become a writer in style books, which should be kept as a writing tool also. It is also helpful to befriend other writers, and read their work and others as a writer and discuss passages of books or chapters with other writers. The second step to becoming a writer is to make time to write. When learning how to become a writer, novices will always be advised to make time for their writing. Many aspiring writers usually mess up on this step, and although they want to be writers they slack on how much they write, so many writers are left with unfinished works. It is important to set aside a particular time or day for writing and to stick to that schedule, because deviance from a writing schedule usually means unfinished work. The final step to becoming a writer is by far the simplest. To become a writer it is imperative that you write. Writing is the simplest step to becoming a writer and the most important step. When learning how to become a writer, you must take some time out and write.
The Top Virtually Bug-free Free Email Services on the Net Virtually bug-free e-mail services are available actually from several places. Many of these service providers are big names, known by many, especially Internet users. The difference between the different e-mail providers lies in several things. These differences include but are not limited to plenty storage space, effective spam filtering, a fast user-friendly interface, desktop e-mail program access and much more. Currently in the United States and the rest of the world, the best offer for free e-mail comes from Gmail. Gmail is part of the Google business enterprise (the search engine most of us know) and offers the most features and storage space for their users for free. With virtually unlimited storage capacity for e-mails, a user never has to delete any e-mails of the server and can collect all the messages. Gmail offers a simple user-friendly interface, which also includes an excellent search function that lets a user find messages instantly and precisely. Another great feature of gmail is the POP and IMAP access features. This gives the user the possibility to download the e-mail from the server with any e-mail program that the user generally would use. The program can then also automatically download the e-mails into the program ready for the user to read. Gmail is funded by displaying advertising next to the e-mails read. Next on the worldwide list would be GMX, a German provider that offers many of the features gmail offers, but with limited storage space. This program also has the POP feature and can therefore be used in conjunction with any of the common available PC e-mail programs. Right after gmail it is one of the most reliable e-mail services, but unfortunately they discontinued the English user face and only offer a German version now. Thereafter on the top free e-mail services providers is AIM Mail. It is the free web-based service from AOL. Like gmail it offers virtually unlimited online storage, excellent spam protection and a simple, easy to use interface. Unfortunately, AIM Mail lacks proper productivity, such things as labels, smart folders and message threading is not available. AIM Mail also offers a very functional POP and IMAP access. Yahoo! Mail would be the next e-mail service that should be mentioned on the list of the top virtually bug-free services on the Internet. Yahoo also offers virtually unlimited storage space for e-mails and a few other nice features, such as Short message services for texting to friends and family, instant-messaging features for the internet and up to date news feeds. What Yahoo! mail lacks is a really good spam filter. It offers a spam filter, but it is not effective enough. Also nice to have would be labeling options as well as smart folders. The Yahoo! Interface is just as easy and user-friendly as the other providers and fairly reliable. To complete the list we need to mention the following three services, Inbox.com, FastMail and Hotmail. Inbox.com offers e-mail users 5 GB of free space to store e-mail online. Despite the limited space, this service is outstanding due to its high-speed accessibility. Web access and POP access are very fast and even the search functions are faster than with most other services on the market. The drawbacks of Inbox.com are the missing IMAP access, only POP is provided and the organizing of mail is slightly unorganized due to missing smartfolder technology. FastMail on the other hand offers users only IMAP. It has many useful features and has one of the best web-based e-mail interfaces. It also generally displays fewer ads then the other services do. And lastly, Live Hotmail should be mentioned here, since most PC users that have a Windows based operating system will have heard of hotmail. This program offers 5 GB of storage for e-mails online. It has a fast search option, a solid security feature and the interface is as easy as the ones users are used to on their desktop. Even though security is great, the spam filter is not quite as effective as some of the other e-mail providers. Also missing with this provider is the POP and IMAP access as well as smartfolders and other great e-mail organizing features.
Movie Copyright Law College Students Are Being Targeted For Breaking Movie Copyright Law Many people have taken up the hobby of downloading movies and songs on the Internet and sharing them with their friends and family online. However, this is direct violation of the movie copyright law. Not surprisingly, the biggest violators of the movie copyright law are students. It is not surprising that the movie industry sector is sending out copyright infringements claims to college universities around the country. One reason that college students may be the hardest hit when it comes to violations brought against them for infringing on movie copyright law is that they are not aware of how serious a crime it truly it. Many college students who have suits brought against them are shocked, to say the least. They question why they were not warned about the perils of downloading movies and songs online and passing them along to friends. However, with the rise of claims that are being handed down, no one can claim ignorance for much longer. Word is being spread near and far that if you are engaging in illegal downloading and/or sharing then you can be brought to court. College students are learning the hard way that it is against the law and in violation of the movie copyright law to share or download copyrighted material. Many colleges and universities are now stating in their handbooks that it is against the law and the university rules to illegally download movies, music and other forms of media online using a school computer. In addition to illegal downloading and sharing software, the files take up space on the computer systems and use a considerable amount of bandwidth. While most universities and colleges will not look at the content an individual has -- they can isolate and identify the individuals who are hogging up the bandwidth by using illegal file sharing software. The movie and music industries have stepped in and are demanding restitution for illegally downloaded movies, music and other forms of copyrighted media. They have detection agencies that have the technology to identify and trace copyright infringements straight to their source. Once the computer is located they can notify the university or the college that they are in violation. The university will be told that they have a copyright infringement claim against them. Based on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act once the computer is isolated Internet access is terminated to that computer and court proceedings can begin. Does this sound far fetched? Well, it is not. You should know that in April of 2003 four students were sued by Recording Industry Association of America. These students attended Princeton, Michigan Technical University and Rensselear Polytechnic Institute. One student alone had an estimated liability of $150 billion. When you consider that you can be charged $750 per song that is illegally downloaded, the total can add up fast! The good thing is the lawsuits against the college students were settled for amounts less than $20,000. That is not pocket change for college students ? or anyone for that matter! Movies and music are meant to be enjoyed. However, illegally downloading movies and music is not much different than walking into a video store and sticking DVDs and CDs in your pocket. Be careful. You do not want to be caught violating the movie copyright law.