A Word on Copyright and Ownership & DCMA
The Internet provides an abundant treasury of useful resources but can also be an invitation to problems if we do not take responsibility for what we do and what we claim.
This applies to the rights and responsibilities of others to protect their property, which includes images, photos, drawings, texts, etc.
On this blog, unless otherwise indicated and appropriate credits are given, all writing is the product and property of the blog owner. If the author of an article lifts or cites written or graphic material from a source that clearly and conspicuously indicates that that material is protected by copyright or an ownership claim, then every attempt is made to (1) indicate the copyright protection, (2) give proper credit to the source and provenance of the material, (3) otherwise indicate that the material is not the blog author’s product or property.
By its very nature, this blog is a public service, public information site and a product of journalistic activity. Until such time as it may become for profit or not-for-profit by accepting donations or fees for advertisment or promotion, it is non-profit and non-revenue generating. Any material, textual, graphic, or audio is reproduced for the sole purpose of illustration or comment, and so is fair use.
We consider all of our writing to be public domain; that means that if you want to quote us, please do. But we do ask that you tell your readers where you got the stuff, and that you don’t misrepresent what is being said on this blog. If we consider something to be our copyright and protected we will conspicuously indicate that by providing you, the reader, with notice in the form of a copyright symbol ©, a trademark symbol ™, or a registered mark ®, which will serve to indicate that if you want to use that material, you must ask for our permission. You can do that by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Likewise, if we obtain an image, a sound, a recording, or a text from a source on the Internet, we expect that anyone claiming copyright or ownership of that material to conspicuously mark that material with a notice of copyright or ownership. That conspicuous mark may be simply a copyright mark ©, a watermark, or a statement on an image, graphic or somewhere in the text (usually at the end), but somewhere visible and conspicuous so that anyone seeing the material will have fair notice that it is copyrighted or owned by someone, and permission needs to be obtained prior to its use. That is the owner’s responsibility. Simple and fair enough.
The United States Copyright law and case law provide a number of situations, exceptions, special cases, etc. where use without permissions is permitted but the user must be given fair notice of copyright or notice of ownership. The law that applies to digital content is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DCMA (for a FAQ sheet on DCMA, click here.) A good overall source of information on the DCMA is the EDUCAUSE page on the DCMA (click here).
If authors and artists do their part by providing fair notice of copyright or other rights associated with material they post on the Internet, and persons obtaining material on the Internet are provided with fair notice and comply with reasonable requirements for obtaining permission to use protected material, we will all live in a better digital world.
A word about “fair use”: Any image or other possibly copyrighted material used on this blog is used under the provisions of the Doctrine of Fair Use. A fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody an alleged copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. In other words, fair use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement.
While we do make every effort to respect copyrights and author’s rights, unless an image or document is clearly and conspicuously identified as protected, which is at the discretion of the alleged owner who chooses to give notice or not to give notice, we reasonably presume that the image or document is not copyrighted. Once such material is used on this site, we reserve the right to remove it or to leave it in place.
We comply with the above and encourage authors and users to do the same.
First Published on February 4, 2014
Last updated on January 5, 2019
“Qui tacet consentire videtur ubi loqui debuit ac potuit.”
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