September 23, 2013
Copyright infringement is a serious problem for WordPress creatives. We’ll look at how users can make infringement more difficult and whether they should.
For those of us who make a living producing content for the web, copyright is often at the forefront of the issues that generate the most controversy. The freedom with which information can be propagated through the network is fundamental to the functioning of the online information economy, but no one likes to see the content that they’ve worked hard to create disproportionately benefiting free-riders. read more
Tags: copyright, copyright infringement, wordpress plugins
June 24, 2011
We’ve talked a lot in this column about the various activities that might get you and your site in legal hot water, including some of the false legal threats you may face.
But that begs the question, who is likely to do either make the threat or file the lawsuit? While the answer could easily be just about anyone as lawsuits online are as varied as thy are in the bricks and mortar world, there are definiely some groups that have been far more litigious than your average netizen.
However, actual data in this area is very difficult, if not impossible, to come by. Not only does one have to factor in the courts of over 50 states and nearly 200 countries, but many of the most important legal threats never actually make it to court.
So, unfortunately, a lot of guesswork is involved but it doesn’t take much research to see some trends forming. With that in mind, if you’re worried about being sued for your blogging activities, here are some groups that you probably want to avoid or at least be wary of messing with. read more
Tags: copyright, copyright infringement, law, lawsuit, Legal, libel, Privacy, trademark
April 14, 2011
YouTube has long had to deal with Copyright infringing members, however they are now taking a more proactive measure to educate those users about copyright infringement, launching what they call the “YouTube Copyright School.”
The program, a four and a half minute video in the style of a cartoon based PSA has now become required viewing for any site user who receives a copyright infringement notice from the world’s largest social video sharing website.
Watching the video (shown at the bottom of this post), you’ll quickly realized that it features characters from Happy Tree Friends, a popular YouTube video series. The video gives a quick rundown of copyright law and must be viewed before an infringing user can once again begin uploading videos to the site. After watching the video users are then required to take a short quiz about the content they just watched.
Along with the new video, YouTube has amended how they control copyright offenses. In the past users had a “permanent record” of violations, while users can now have one offense fully removed from their record by watching the video. Consider the new policy a “defensive driving class” type solution to copyright rule breaking.
YouTube is also launching a Copyright FAQ section, shown below: read more
Tags: copyright, copyright infringement, YouTube, Youtube Copyright School
November 16, 2009
Most bloggers understand the importance and the value in creating original content. Most would be at least somewhat upset to their own writing used on other sites without permission or attribution and many actively track their work for misuse.
However, there is more to being a good copyright citizen than just writing your own content, quoting only what you need to in your entries and attributing your sources. Your blog is much more than just text and there are many copyright “hazards” that even well-intended bloggers can step in.
That’s why last year, almost to the day, I wrote an article about holiday copyright hazards for bloggers to avoid, But while the holidays are an especially dangerous time for copyright issues, they are a potential thorn in the side year around.
So with that in mind, here are five copyright hazards to avoid, regardless of the time of year. read more
Tags: Blogging, content theft, copyright, copyright infringement, creative commons, images, plagiarism
August 10, 2009
In copyright law, the big news is always made by cases such as the Jammie Thomas verdict, the Tenenbaum trial or even The Pirate Bay trial in Sweden. As importance as these cases are, their legal applicability to the average person is dubious, especially since the RIAA has stopped suing file sharers.
For the cases that could have a direct impact on your life, you often have to dig deeper. This is true for the case of Brayton Purcell LLP v. Recordon & Recordon, a seemingly dull case about two law firms in a dispute over content posted on their respective Web sites.
However a recent decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case, if upheld by other circuits or the Supreme Court, could have a drastic impact on the way copyright issues are litigated in the United States.
How big is the difference? The dissenting judge on the panel said the following, “Under the majority’s opinion, every website operator faces the potential that he will be hailed into far-away courts based upon allegations of intellectual property infringement, if he happens to know where the alleged owner of the property rights resides.”
In short, if you are accused of copyright infringement, it is no longer safe to assume that you would be sued in your own district, but rather that you could be forced to litigate in the plaintiff’s court, enduring the extra costs and expense that comes with it. read more
Tags: content theft, copyright, copyright infringement, jurisdiction, Legal, plagiarism
January 26, 2009
There’s an old saying that, once something has been uploaded to the Internet, it can not be truly deleted. The nature of the Web, one where content is copied and pasted constantly, makes it impossible, at least in theory, to actually remove any work added to it, no matter how hard one may try.
As true as that may be, what happens if you decide you want to pack up and leave the Web altogether? That you aren’t comfortable having a Web site, blog, Flickr account or anything else in your name? Perhaps its privacy concerns that bother you, a change of heart about what’s important in life or just a wish to have a fresh start. Either way, what happens after you hit “delete” and say goodbye.
As it turns out, the answer isn’t as simple as many think. Removing your content from the Web is not as easy as canceling your accounts, nor is it completely impossible. Much of it depends on the type of content you’ve produced, where you’ve placed it and how the public has responded to it.
There are a lot of questions about where your content goes after you delete it, questions well worth considering just in case one day you do decide to pull the plug. read more
Tags: content removal, copyright infringement, deletion, DMCA, takedown
January 5, 2009
Bloggers use, and don’t use, Creative Commons Licenses for a variety of reasons. Some feel that it is a great way to give back to the community, others use CC licensing as a form of promotion, encouraging their content to be used with attribution, and others feel that it is a way to promote copyright reform.
However, Creative Commons can actually provide bloggers benefits that go well beyond the buttons and badges. In the uncertain copyright climate of the Web, having a firm lawyer-written license, regardless of what it says, can have huge benefits over the ambiguity that comes with not having one.
Here are just five less-promoted ways that choosing a CC license can help you, your site and your content, even as you surrender some of your rights in a particular work. read more
Tags: content theft, copyright, copyright infringement, creative commons, fair use, plagiarism
December 8, 2008
Yesterday, on CenterNetworks, Allen Stern reported on a new social news site, Social|Median. The story, however, didn’t center around Social|Median’s features or capability, but instead on how, according to Stern, it “take(s) content from around the Web, put it onto Socialmedian and let you comment about it.”
Though I did not see any widespread copying of content on the links that I checked (example), it appears that the amount of content copied in the snippet is determined by the user posting the link, not the site.
Still, it is clear that there has to be a balancing act between social media and content creators. Though social news sites need to use some of the content and conversation from the blog in order to properly function, if they take too much, there is nothing left to encourage content creators to participate or permit their works to be used.
Finding this balance is tricky and has been a problem that has plagued social news sites since the beginning. Many sites have faced criticism for “scraping content” or “fragmenting the conversation” and the concern remains at the top of mind of many Webmasters, especially when dealing with new social news sites that do not drive significant traffic.
So how should social news behave? The last is not very clear but the standards on the Web seem to have spoken to at least some degree. read more
Tags: aggregation, content theft, copyright, copyright infringement, plagiarism, rss, scraper, scraping, social news
December 1, 2008
Flickr has been in the spotlight a good deal recently, but a lot of it has not been good news. It has been revealed that Flickr, like Facebook, strips out copyright metadata from uploaded images. Combined with a confusing API, licensing scandals, companies selling photos as cell phone backgrounds and more, it is easy to see why some are skittish about keeping their images on the site.
This has some photographers, bloggers and artists uneasy about using Flickr or at least using the site exclusively. Many have begun seeking alternatives to Flickr but alternatives seem to be thin. Though image hosts such as Photobucket exist and are great for embedding images into other sites, they lack the sense of community that Flickr provides and, in the case of Photobucket, can raise copyright issues of their own.
So what other sites are there for photographers and artists that might fulfill some or all of Flickr’s function while providing a slightly better copyright environment? There are actually many, but here are three of the more important ones to watch. read more
Tags: content theft, copyright, copyright infringement, deviantard, flickr, images, photography, photrade, smugmug, watermarking
October 20, 2008
According to the Citizen’s Media Law Project, there were over 250 lawsuits filed against bloggers for defamation and another 150 lawsuits filed dealing with copyright issues. Though the number of lawsuits is still fairly small compared to the number of people blogging, there has definitely been an upward trend in recent years (link PDF).
At the same time, bloggers have been striving to gain equal footing with mainstream media representatives in obtaining access to both people and events. However, they have typically had an uphill struggle in obtaining such access for reasons that are not always clear.
Though bloggers have begun to act more and more in the same capacity as the mainstream media, they have typically not had the legal training and information nor the access of journalists. Few come from mass media or law backgrounds and thus often struggle with the legal issues surrounding blogging and even fewer have the connections and knowledge to obtain critical access to important events.
This is where the Media Bloggers Association steps in. It seeks to help grow citizen journalism by providing it with some of the same training and access that journalists in newspapers or television have. The goal is to promote blogging and citizen journalism as its own form of media and give bloggers equal footing, both in the courts and on the streets, to other journalists. read more
Tags: copyright, copyright infringement, defamation, liability insurance, libel, mba, Media Bloggers Association, Privacy, trade group