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Posts Tagged ‘copyright’

As you’ll see, I haven’t used a picture at the top of this blog. I’m actually thinking about going through ALL my posts and deleting/changing any photos that aren’t mine.

Why?

I read a post today about copyright and photographs via the wonderful, Roni Loren… And it was scary! According to Roni’s recent, and horrifying experience, Fair Use doesn’t seem to exist. It doesn’t matter….

  • if you link back to the source and list the photographer’s name
  • if the picture is not full-sized (only thumbnail size is okay)
  • if you did it innocently
  • if your site is non-commercial and you made no money from the use of the photo
  • if you didn’t claim the photo was yours
  • if you’ve added commentary in addition to having the pic in the post
  • if the picture is embedded and not saved on your server
  • if you have a disclaimer on your site.
  • if you immediately take down a pic if someone sends you a DMCA notice (you do have to take it down, but it doesn’t absolve you.)

It really made me think, and I commented so.

My question?

If you are looking for an image to use for your blog, as many of us do, and type, say, “desert” into Google images – you are likely to find that same image, only from different websites. How are you supposed to know who it originated or belongs too?

I deleted my Pinterest account a long time ago when rumours of lawsuits began washing over the internet. Some photos I use on my blog and Facebook (especially my banners), are my own personal pictures that I have ‘shot’ myself. I would not expect anyone, after a year on the internet, to know they originated from me.

So, what about you? Have you used Google images to find photos? Would you sue someone for using one of your personal pictures? Have you ever been asked to remove a photograph? Or, have you had your own lawsuit to fight?

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Many people often wonder whether to copyright their work, and the best way in which to do it. So I’m going to help you.

Okay, first of all, what is copyright?

Nice and simple. Like a patent, trademark, and any design that can be copied, copyright is an intellectual property; also known as ‘IP’, and gives you all ‘rights’ to your work and protects it from copyright infringement.

Now I could go on and on explaining all the different avenues, but as this is based at writers, I will stick with novels and screenplays.

You’ve written a novel (fiction or non-fiction), short story, or poem, and you want to send it off to an agent, manager, or publisher. What should you do first? That’s right, copyright it.

Who with?

Whoa there fiesty one. First check you live in a Berne Convention Country. 162 of the 190 countries are signed to it, so chances are, you are.

Now you can register your work with an organisation. Now there are various ones both in the UK and US that I use.

US pilots and screenplays I use WGA (Writers Guild of America) West. I also register my synopsis here. I have never had a problem and the service is very prompt and efficient. There is also some cool information on their website.

For my UK pilots, screenplays and novels, I use the Intellectual Property Rights Office.

N.B. If you are a subscriber to firstwriter.com you can benefit from a 10% discount when you start the registration process through their site. If you are already a Firstwriter subscriber, click here. If not and want to, click here first.

There is usually a charge, approximately £20/$40, to register work and you should be issued with a certificate, although these can take up to six months to be delivered.

Although I’ve never registered a novel with a US copyright organsisation, more information may be obtained at the US Copyright Office.

I’ve tried to keep this post as simple as I can, but if there is something you don’t understand, put your query in the comment box. Likewise, if you’ve had any dealings with any of the organisations listed here, good or bad, let me know. Maybe you use other companies. If so, let me know them too.

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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