How to stay safe from Copyright issues in websites

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We often heard of companies suing each other over copyright issue. Recently, Apple and Samsung entered in a bitter tussle throwing claims of copyright infringement over each other.

So website owners, sometimes intentionally or unintentionally use content that include images, content and videos that are property of someone else, and hence directly violates the copyright rules and regulations laid by DMCA. Thought, a copytight infrignement is a not a crime but its subjected to a hefty fine of upto $100,000. Its a lot of money, so its important to stay safe from such copyright violations. DMCA, Digital Millennuium Copyright Act is a law that deals with copyright violations of digital media like text content, images and videos. They can remove a webpage from search engines if a copyright infringement is found in a webpage.

How to prevent then?

The simplest way to prevent from any sort of copyright infringement is by including content that’s solely from your mind, images that aren’t copyrighted and videos only from video sharing sites. Lets discuss these in a bit detail,

  1. Avoid using images with copyright information, if no such info is provided then assume its a copyrighted one. As per the law, an image is copyrighted as soon as its generated and saved to hard disk, however its better to provide a copyright information explicitly.
  2. Avoid plagiarism – don’t copy text content from a website. Though, there is no problem in collecting information from someone’s writing/blog but whatever you put in your website must be your own views and in your words rather than a ditto of others. You can’t steal others work for your benefit, but you can definitely ask the original author for permission if you’re intended to do such a thing.
  3. Put images from sites offering it for free or buy images from websites like shutterstock. Embed videos from video sharing sites. For images, you can include them from flickr specifying the original author name. You can include videos from YouTube, Metacafe but avoid using copyrighted videos like one from Hindustan Times, HuffingtonPost, Cricinfo otherwise you might be sued by them.
  4. It’s better to stay safe and hence checking terms of use/terms of a website before taking any data is must. Sharing policy of YouTube, Metacafe includes a clause stating ‘no-alteration’ and ‘no commercial use’ of video when shared on different social media platforms like your blog. By default they allow video sharing but certain videos explicitly prohibits this, so you shouldn’t use wrong means to include them.
  5. The best way to use a copyrighted img is by editing it using a software with intention to improve and use it rather than putting the exact one. This might appear a bit questionable but it’s well within your scope and is perfectly safe.
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