Copyright, Privacy In Writing And Beyond…
One of the most oft heard discussions between writers is, how they can prevent their ideas being stolen by others. Well ideally copyright is the answer. Essentially as a writer, it gives you and you alone the right to do the following:
- Undertake copies of your work
- Distribute any copies
- Display them anywhere publicly or privately
- Utilize it for creating any work with that as the basis
The copyright law prevents anyone else from taking your work, without your permission, and using them in any of their work.
Many of you have over the years honed your writing skill, researched your topic, and spent a considerable effort in creating your work. However, if it’s plagiarised all your hard work, loses its credibility. Also your writing style is identifiable very clearly, which resonates with your reader. By plagiarising it, the writing style is compromised and, it can also result in data taken out of context.
So what exactly is copyright infringement?
Copyright infringement is when one party misuses the sole rights of the works original owner without taking their consent. If a copyright owner can prove such a misuse, then the infringer would have to pay them, the all the profits made from it. In cases, where no profit has been made as of yet, the fine will be based on expected income. In the U.S., there is an added fine they would have to pay, which is the statutory damages. This is decided by the judge and criminal penalties may also apply.
The fair use policy
However, what you need to be careful about is that copyright rights are not infinite. It does set some constraints on the copyright held by the owner. The most important constraint it applies is, that of the ‘Fair Use’. For research and educational reasons this constraint allows the restricted duplication of the material. The duplication of the work is allows for teaching, news etc. for classroom use you can make multiple use.
Is there need to take permission to copy?
I would say 100% yes, inspite of the ‘fair use’ clause I would say you should ask (unless you are using it for class). For on there are no definitive rules that define what is fair or not. Secondly it’s a good practice to ask permission before usage – courteous.
How do I find out whom to ask?
Well that in most instances is fairly easy. In all published books, the copyright owner’s details are provided in the first few pages. If you can’t figure it out from there, call the publishers, they will always have the information. Last but not the least, the copy right office will have the information you seek. Inform the owner, your intended use, and the format in which it will be utilised. In case of commercial use, you may have to pay a fees to the owner which is negotiable. However for an academic usage, generally as long you mention the source, the permission is provided free of charge.
Remember, it’s always best to copyright your work, and if you are using someone else’s work then ask permission.
Luke Casey has authored this post and is also a professional essay writer. He likes to helo students achieve better writing results and improve their grammatical skills.
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