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How to avoid copyright infringement on the internet?

Are you tempted to copy images, videos and other types of content from websites? Don't do it lest you be sued for violating the copyright law. How to do it? Read on and find out.

Know the scope of the copyright law

The copyright law protects all types of music, photos, videos and even words. Bear in mind that only the copyright owner can reproduce his work, revise or alter it for movies or plays or distribute it to the public. He also has the power to control a public performance that uses his work.

Read and follow the terms of use of any website

Before downloading any image or video from a website, take the time to look for the tab that says “terms of use”, “user agreement”, “terms and conditions” or other related terms. This will tell you how you should use the content you gathered from their site.

Be aware of “fair use”

According to the US Copyright Office, a copyright owner has limited rights when his work is used in criticisms, comments, news reports, as well as in school-related tasks like teaching and scholarly research. Be aware, however, that a user should never sell or distribute a copyright owner’s work without the latter’s knowledge.

Linking to the source is not enough

Did you find an image, article or video so valuable that you consider publishing it in your blog? Putting a link from your blog to the copyright owner’s work is not enough. You have to obtain his permission to do so.

Be original

Let you creative juices flow. Instead of copying photos, just grab your video camera and take pictures or videos of the subject you have in mind. Instead of spinning an article or using large portion of it, just write your own article or hire someone to do it for you. You will even up your website’s chances of getting more unique visitors because of your original content.

Buy images if you have to

You can always buy from sites like Fotolia, Shutterstock, Bigstockphoto if you don’t have time to take pictures. You’ll not only be safe from copyright infringement – you’ll be helping the artists and photographers who worked hard for those images.
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