Domain Manage

If it’s not yours, say so!

Discussion in 'Domain Name News' started by Acorn Newsbot, Mar 26, 2013.

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  1. Acorn Newsbot

    Acorn Newsbot Junior Member

    Jan 2006
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    In the third of our*Manners Matter*articles on the importance of good manners online, we look at a topic that’s been featured a lot in the media recently, thanks to the likes of Pirate Bay:* intellectual property issues. Ignorance of the law is no excuse for being a fool online – so read on to find out about what’s good manners and what’s bad when it comes to sharing and copying what you find online.

    The internet is a great platform on which to share content, find new videos, images, songs, photos, films and interesting information. But just like real life, it’s only fair to give the creators of all this excellent output the credit they deserve. If it’s not yours, it’s good manners to say so!

    Is it OK to steal content?

    Imagine you’ve found the perfect image of a luxury Easter egg for your website. It was shot by a photographer on a different continent and it’s unlikely they’ll find out. You could just right-click and save it. But that’s a kind of theft. If it was you and someone stole your content without asking or acknowledging it was yours, you probably wouldn’t like it.

    What can I do in return?

    If you want to use someone else’s creations, ask their permission first if at all possible. They will probably agree as long as you credit them and/or include a link to their site.

    If you can’t contact them or don’t hear back from them, it’s good 'netiquette' (internet etiquette)*to mention the creator and link back to their website.

    •*Mentioning the creator’s name helps build their reputation, because people who visit your website know who created it
    •*The link means search engines ‘know’ where the content came from. Because links help search engines decide how popular web pages are, it helps support the creator’s business*

    Crediting people for their achievements makes sense in other ways too. The internet is all about interlinking, connecting relevant information and like-minded people across time and space, which in turn helps search engines make sense of the web. When we give credit where it’s due, we make the internet a better place for everyone who uses it.

    What about copyright law?

    Stealing copyrighted songs, movies and images from the internet without permission is illegal under Britain's copyright laws. But because there is often no comeback, the law is often ignored. If you have ever right clicked and saved an image from Google Images to use in your own work, whether it’s personal or commercial, you’re actually breaking the law. The principle is this: unless a copyright owner has given their express permission for you to share or otherwise use their content, it’s illegal for you to do so.

    The UK law covers things like original books, poems, tables, lists, music, art, graphics, photos, sound recordings and film.* In the UK, copyright happens when an original work is created, when the thing being created involves a certain level of special skill or judgement. You don’t need to register copyright in Britain; it happens automatically when the idea is committed to paper or another fixed form.

    What about the law in other countries?

    Copyright law is different in every country. This page is an index of information on copyright laws in different countries.

    What about ‘Fair Dealing’?

    ‘Fair dealing' is when you reproduce materials for non-commercial purposes, private study, criticism, review or reporting news. As long as it’s used fairly for the stated purpose and accompanied by acknowledgement, it’s usually covered by fair dealing. But it’s sensible to bear in mind that decisions are subjective, made based on the circumstances in each case, and there are no hard and fast rules.

    What happens if I steal content?

    The owner might simply ask you to remove the content. But they are within their rights to seek an injunction against you to stop you from using their content and they can also reclaim lost profit through the civil courts.* Under some circumstances stealing content can even be a criminal offence, so it’s much better to be safe than sorry. If in doubt and you can’t get in touch with the owner, don’t use it.

    Useful links
    Here are some useful links to help you find out more about copyright and how to report breach of copyright.

    •*More information on copyright from the Intellectual Property Office
    •*Report an intellectual property issue to trading standards via Citizens Advice, Crimestoppers or Action Fraud
    •*More on copyright and licensing as it relates to music from the Music Publishers Association

  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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