Lets start with copyright infringement.
It is easily explained as copying someone else’s work without
gaining permission first. This includes publishing other peoples
work to your web site, newspaper, magazine or even just
downloading it to your computer can be seen as copyright
infringement. The last is known as a grey area.
Other peoples work means anything created by a person. It can be
written content, graphical content, musical content or even
is anything tangible that’s created by a person. NOTE: A idea
cannot be copyrighted due to the fact it is not tangible.
I have just finished reading a book on how to service my car.
The author of the book explains in detail the different ways a
person can go about the job. He also details tips and tricks he
has learnt over the years that speed up the servicing.
Now after putting into practice what the author wrote I could go
and write my own book on how to service my car, right?
Why? Well the author can only copyright the content of his book
(words, pictures… etc) he cannot copyright the practice or
idea there in. This can be viewed in many different ways so if
your unsure it is always best to at least email the author
before taking any action with there material.
The short and sweet way of looking at this is your content no
matter what creative medium it falls under is automatically
copyrighted to you for the duration of your life. It can only be
broken if you decide to give your content away for free (you
must state that it is copyright free material) or you die and
nobody registers for the copyright to your material.
Public Domain material
This leads us to Public Domain material…..
Before 1978 copyright only lasted 27 seven years. These days it
lasts the duration of the creators life. Therefor from the
minute you create your work it is automatically copyrighted to
you. It is still important to state this wherever you decide to
publish your material.
Public Domain material has no copyright and can be used in
anyway you see fit. Also unless you change it in someway it is
still Public Domain. So if you find a book that is in the Public
Domain and you start selling it on EBay, there is nothing
stopping the people who buy it from selling it themselves.
That’s why it is important to change the material. Add something
to it so it stands out or modernize the language so people can
understand the material better. Any changes copyright the “new”
book to you.
Anything published before 1928 falls under Public Domain. That
is of course unless someone got there first and changed the
material in some way. You have to watch out for that. It could
get you into trouble.
Also depending on your country things maybe different so make
sure you know where you stand.
Copyrighting your work is a good thing. You are the sole owner
of what you create and so you should be. There is a problem here
though. Once your material is published to the web, book,
magazine or even TV your leaving your material open to abuse.
This could be viewed as unfortunate but truthfully if it wasn’t
for copying other peoples HTML code I would have never learned
HTML. It was the same for Java Script and Graphic Design. Even
writing and game creation were learnt from copying others first.
It is also well known that internet marketers keep something
called a Swipe File on there computer. This is where they paste
items of interest they find on the web. It is a digital
People learn by first copying and then creating. It is the
natural order of life to copy others. So if you want to be
strict about your copyright that’s fine. Just remember how you
learnt what you know before you draw a line in the sand: