How to Avoid Copyright Infringement
Despite continuous efforts by authorities and advocates of anti-piracy to spread knowledge
about copyright infringement, many people remain ignorant of intellectual property (IP) and
copyright laws. Indeed, many consumers commit online infringements unknowingly due to
their lack of awareness on the subject. Ignorance, however, is not an excuse, and both
consumers and rights-holders are encouraged not only to get informed, but also to educate
their friends, family, clients, employees, and business partners in order to avoid violating IP
Copyright is a term used to describe the protection automatically granted to creators of
original work. In this case, original work refers to anything that someone has created which
you can hear, see, or read such as songs, photographs, blogs, books, software, etc. The
creator of these works has the right to decide who is entitled to use his or her work, as well
as when, where, how, and for how long.
In order to for rights-holders to protect themselves and their creations, the first step to take
should be to obtain a registered copyright from a certified copyright organisation, either
national or international. Although as the owner you automatically hold all rights to your
work, taking action against violators becomes easier if you have registered copyrights.
For consumers, the most effective defence involves getting informed about IP laws and
reading product licences thoroughly before using other people’s work. Licences state exactly
how an original creation can be used by others and this may include paying a fee, using the
creation for educational purposes only or even not using the creation at all. The rights-
holder sets the rules and the public must abide by them.