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Do's and don'ts to abide by the copyright law

Copying web contents is an easy as clicking few buttons. Any one can grab text, images or video from one website and use it in another. When managing your website you must have a clear understanding of copyright law. Below are some practical pointers so you will not voilate this creed:

  • You can use and copy materialswhich are under a public domain. These are materials which donot have the copyright notice or stuff in the website of the federal government.


  • Fair use of short excerpts from copyrighted materials for the purpose of reporting, criticism or commentry is allowed by law. You can quote the portion of the material and will not get into any trouble.


  • You are allowed to make use of facts and ideas that you can find on the internet. This doesnot include the forms or structure which may be protected by copyright laws.


  • You can also find procedure, slogans, title, short pharases, list of contents or ingredients, symbols or names which are not protected by copyright laws. Take note that some of these may be protected by the trademark law.


  • Nominative fair use of company logoes or names is allowed by the law for the purpose of criticism or analysis.


  • You can make use of the company names in your domain be sure that you place a note that you are not in anyway trying to deceive the public that you are representing the company or related to it in anyway.


  • You need explicit permission from the author of a copyrighted work before you use it in your website. This means that simply quoting the source or author will not automatically save you from copyright infringement law suits.


  • Remember that all printed or digital works are protected by copyright even though there is no explicit notice printed or posted with them.


  • Carefully check the copyright of the materials that you intend to use so you know what kind of permission you need before doing anything.


  • Authors of the original content maynot go after you for infringement even if you do not use their materials commercially. Acquiring explicit permission from the owner is the safest way to avoide headaches.


  • Removal of duplicate content doesnot necessarily save you from copyright infringement. You will still be on the hot seat in case the author goes after you in court.


  • If you can not find the copyright holder of a material, this doesnot mean that it is available for use. You may still be held possible for copyright violations.

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