Need a better understanding of copyright on the internet and internet copyright laws? It can often be confusing! The Internet is a large and expansive space, with many rules that are visible and some that arenâ€™t so visible. One of the major overarching rules of the Internet is the copyright laws. Internet copyright laws function the same way that they do in the "real" world.
There are many types of materials that can have a copyright online and they all fall under the category of intellectual property. Intellectual property is defined as an idea, such as an article or a piece of software on the Internet.
Below is a list of several things that constitute intellectual property:
As you can see, many of the things that you see on a daily basis on the Internet are intellectual property and are therefore protected under internet copyright laws. A large portion of the Internet consists of text, whether it is factual text, stories, informational articles, or ideas put out by someone. Whatever the cause for the text, just about all of it is protected under internet copyright laws, meaning you would get in trouble if you tried to pass this work off as your own.
Just like in school when you were always told not to copy and plagiarize, the same is true with copyright on the Internet. Copying work on the Internet and claiming it to be yours is a violation of Internet copyright laws and can get you in trouble if the owner of the content reports it to authorities. While the punishment is generally not bad, it can still cause a severe inconvenience in your live and force you to pay thousands of dollars in fines.
Piracy is the act of stealing and or otherwise obtaining software, movies, music or other programs illegally and without the permission of the publisher. In recent years, piracy has become more prevalent because the methods for getting the illegal material have become faster and more anonymous. All you need now is a computer with an Internet connection to download at your heart's content, which makes piracy a very real option for many people. Another reason why piracy is so rampant is because the law enforcement is having a hard time tracking down the pirates and an even harder time charging them with a crime of any sort.
Music is the #1 form of intellectual property, and many people purchase one CD then share it with their friends in an effort to save money. This may be legal or illegal depending upon where you live and what the laws are in your country. Just know that downloading music without paying for it is almost always illegal and can get you in trouble.
You need to know that anything that is deemed intellectual property, such as text, music, video, software, games or ideas are usually protected under internet copyright laws and therefore are illegal to copy, claim as your own or use for personal or financial gain.
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