Internet Copyright Infringement: 5 Myths vs. Facts

If you Run a Website or post to social media you are probably breaching copyright and you don’t even know it!

Myth 1. Once a ‘Work’ is posted online it loses copyright protection. Wrong!

Fact: You cannot use, copy or post someone else’s photo’s, images, songs or articles without their permission. The person who created them owns these ‘works’ and they have copyright protection form the moment the ‘works’ were created and they loose this ownership protection according to their national laws (usually 50 or 70 years after their death).

Myth 2. I can copy a ’work’ online provided I give the owner credit or a link back.

Fact: You cannot use other people’s ‘work’ unless they first give you permission. Some websites

say you can use any material from their site provided you link back and give them permission unless it’s specifically granted on the ‘work’.

Myth 3. If I alter the ‘work’ or inly use part of it, I am not breaching copyright.

Fact: Derivative works are still covered by Copyright. The only exception is if you are writing a critique and you are referring to the ‘work’. This is considered fair use.

Myth 4. If there is no copyright symbol or notice the ‘work’ can be freely used.

Fact: there is no requirement to display a Copyright symbol or register any work to have copyright protection. A work is protected from the moment it is created and the owner does not lose their copyright if they don’t use the Copyright symbol.

Myth 5 I can use another person’s ‘work’ as long as I don’t’ profit financially from it.

Fact: you are breaching copyright whether you make money or not. The argument that you are giving the owner free advertising does not count. Any money you make would be taken into account by a court decision against you.