Copyright: A Brief Overview

There must have been an instance when you wanted to use a work of art or literature for broadcast or incorporation in your audio-visual work,  or any work of art, and had your work taken down from YouTube or any other platform. If not, then stick around anyway, we’re going to discuss Copyright, the laws that protect authors/artists and their work.

Copyright laws are there to protect works in various fields such as visual art, media, music, and other intellectual works. An artist, for example, relies on copyright laws to protect their work from illegal use (e.g. pirating, uploading on YouTube, etc.). Moreover, the artist has the exclusive right to use, broadcast, perform, sell, lend, and rent his work in whichever way they please. The author/artist also has moral rights which allow them to be credited with their work, and to object to disrespectful use of their name or work.

Copyright protected content being stolen

Copyright laws 

The laws vary from one country to another, but there is a set of internationally agreed upon laws that protect foreign works in a certain country. Two conventions were held to set and agree upon a set of laws that protect creative work. The Berne Convention, and the Buenos Aires Convention, the latter involving only North and South American countries.

Exceptions to Copyright

There are some exceptions to copyright in the sense that you can use material protected by copyright without breaking any laws. In the UK, for example, non-commercial use of studies or material is permitted as well as using material to cite or criticize, as in a Master’s thesis or Ph.D. In any case it is always recommended if not obligatory to give credit to the author of the material you use for whatever purpose. Never assume ownership of the material or omit citation.

Publishing or broadcasting, or generally making an author’s work available to the public without permission is a breach of copyright law. If you want to use material for broadcast or online posting, you must request permission from the author or the copyright licensing organization acting on their behalf.

Copyright content

Terms and Conditions apply

We’ve all clicked the “I Accept” button without reading the terms and conditions at some point or another while on a website. Ideally, websites should state the user’s terms and conditions in authoritative, informative language that is easy to be understood by the average user. In order to make it easily accessible,

Below is a list of what is usually included in a Terms and Conditions document for a website:
Definitions of website “content” and what is protected

• A copyright statement
• A public domain statement
• Ownership of text and data content
• Ownership of metadata
• Permissions (or not) for reuse, including for commercial or noncommercial purposes
• Conditions for permitted reuse
• Contact information for licensing of website content
• Disclaimers, waivers and indemnification procedures
• Enforcement policies in the case of infringement
• Privacy and cookies policies

In this brief, over-simplified overview of copyright law, we’ve gone over the basic Dos and Don’ts when dealing with copyright material, how to approach using material that is protected by copyright law and a summary of what usually comes in the Terms and Conditions document for websites. The main tips for you to take home from this article are to always make sure that you credit the author of the material that you wish to use for commercial purposes, and be sure to respect copyright laws in your country or region as well as the author’s. On that note, we at Business Motion know the value of published work and the purpose of copyright laws and respect them at all times. Whether it’s an animation template, illustration, or piece of music, we do not refrain from gaining paid access to and use of any of the aforementioned items. It not only enhances the quality of our work, but also fortifies our corporate integrity.


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