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Copyright on the Internet

One of the biggest lessons I learned as a young child was the importance of sharing. Share your toys. Share your treat with your sister. Share the TV time. Nothing wrong with sharing, right? However, if you don’t have permission to take and copy something, that is a different story. In today’s fast-paced internet culture where people and organizations desire to grow their audiences, they may copy and distribute other people’s content without permission and infringe on others’ copyright.

From the U.S. Copyright Office’s Learning Engine video, “Copyright on the Internet.”

The U.S. Copyright Office’s new video in the Learning Engine series,Copyright on the Internet,” can help you avoid that pitfall. The video provides a list of the steps you should take to obtain permission before using someone else’s work. Furthermore, it discusses some of the common mistakes people make when trying to avoid copyright infringement. For instance, just because you write, “No copyright intended” on a post or cite the creator of a work does not mean you are protected against claims of infringement.

What I really like about this video—other than all the adorable cats who took part in it—is that it introduces viewers to the tools they can use right now to discover who holds a specific copyright. Did someone create the piece after 1978? You will learn where to go on our website for that. If something was created before 1978, the video explains how you could find the information if you visit the Copyright Office in Washington, DC.

From the U.S. Copyright Office’s Learning Engine video, “Copyright on the Internet.”

That’s not all! “Copyright on the Internet” highlights other ways you can develop content through fair use or by using public domain images and Creative Commons licenses. Stick around to the end of the video to find out how many public domain and Creative Common images we used. If you want to learn more about fair use, we have another video devoted to that topic that we’ll highlight in a forthcoming blog post.

Now that you know about copyright on the internet, we encourage you to share the video and this blog post with your friends and family. As they say, sharing is caring!