“The Internet has been characterized as the largest threat to copyright since its inception. The Internet is awash in information, a lot of it with varying degrees of copyright protection. Copyrighted works on the Net include new s stories, software, novels, screenplays, graphics, pictures, Usenet messages and even email. In fact, the frightening reality is that almost everything on the Net is protected by copyright law. That can pose problems for the hapless surfer.” (“The Copyright Web site” www.benedict.com)
Everywhere one goes…red tape. The internet – a land mine of copyright infringement lawsuits – is no exception.
Copyright laws protect the original works and ideas of US citizens – be it written, visual, or audio – and unless you’re the piece’s creator, any work that is copied, sold, or performed is considered an act of Plagiarism (yes, with a capital P). Naturally, with a phenomenon like the internet, in which vast quantities of information, text, sounds, and video float around in cyberspace, the same rules still apply.
But what about copyright over internet-specific content?
Just like an original print/audio/visual work, copyright protects not only those things digitized, but also the specific original markup language (html) and logos used on a web site. It IS plagiarism to use ideas from someone else’s web site without giving credit where credit is due! Using another person’s web site content, pulling info from different sites without citation, or changing other people’s emails into a version different from the original all classify as Plagiarism and can get your web site shut down faster than bargain hunters at the mall on Black Friday.
Many companies and web sites will give permission for their web site’s logo to be used in conjunction with your site, but ASK PERMISSION FIRST – you want to make sure they’re okay with their logo floating around your web site.
& even though the internet seems like a free-for-all, traditional works still retain their copyright seatbelts on the web, too! Be careful what you copy and post.
It’s just one of those things…
Oh, and so I’m not eating my hat, the info I used to create this entry came from this site….for the record.