“But the internet said….The internet has revolutionized the way people access information. Billions of people around the world have access to information through the internet. As with most things related to the Internet, not all of that information is accurate. A common myth is that by only posting content to the Internet, you are dedicating it to the public and anyone can use it as long as there is no copyright notice with the material. This myth is false.
Copyright – the bundle of rights that protects creative content such as photos, text, music, and website layout – is automatically associated with a work when it is created. The work does not fall into the public domain until the copyright monopoly period ends (currently, the period extends to seventy years after the creator’s death). Simply posting something to the Internet without a copyright notice does not deprive the work of copyright protection.
Yet the myth persists. Fortunately, there are some simple steps entrepreneurs can take to prevent their work from being breached by people who mistakenly believe that use is allowed. An easy way to reduce online infringements is to act like a copyright owner. A good way to do this is to include a copyright notice on your website. If you create original art to promote your business on your social media pages, include the copyright symbol and year in your post. Many people recognize that a copyright symbol means they can’t use that material without permission (even if it’s on the Internet).
Other tools, such as copyright infringement notices on social media platforms, allow companies to easily request that the social media platform remove material copied from the company and posted to the social media site by others. Today, those forms have been streamlined so laymen can easily fill them out and send them to social media platforms — no lawyer needed. By leveraging copyright notices and existing social media tools, companies can resolve copyright issues in a cost-effective manner.
There are, of course, situations where a substantial infringement occurs and, despite all efforts, cannot be resolved without lawyers. However, being proactive by acting as the owner of your copyrighted material will solve many problems and allow your business to focus on what it does best.
Copyright – the bundle of rights that protects creative content such as photos, text, music, and website layout – is automatically associated with a work when it is created.