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Legal Copyright Infringement
3 Tips to avoid breaking the law with Copyright Infringement
Legal Copyright Infringement is honestly an oxymoron- if it qualifies as Copyright Infringement, then it is, by definition, illegal. This being said sometimes it’s hard to know where the gray area of legal vs. illegal starts.

What is a Copyright?
A Copyright is an exclusive right granted to an artist or author, pursuant to Article 1, §8, Clause 8 of the US Constitution, which protects any original work of art or authorship reduced to a tangible form.

What is Copyright Infringement?
Copyright infringement is a violation of that right; it is THEFT; it’s stealing.  Copyright infringement is using someone else’s copyright-protected material without permission, without a license, or without that use falling within an exception, such as fair use or the public domain.

A lot of times, people don’t even realize that what they are doing is illegal, thinking what they are doing is harmless, with no thoughts to the potential consequences. For this reason, I have put together a list of 3 tips for judging whether what you are doing is copyright infringement or not…

Legal Copyright Infringement Tip #1:
If it does not belong to you, assume it belongs to someone else.

Legal Copyright Infringement Tip #2
If it belongs to someone else, assume you need permission or a license to use it.

Legal Copyright Infringement Tip #3
Be aware of ways you can inadvertently infringe someone’s copyright:

  1. downloading music from the Internet,
  2. photocopying portions of a book or articles from magazines,
  3. duplicating testimonial  letters & inserting them in your media kit on web site,
  4. inserting popular music into your video,
  5. performing someone’s music in public,
  6. reproducing a photograph,
  7. Allowing someone to download your copy of the software without buying their own license

Until next time, THINK before you USE! Or better yet – get a FREE consultation before you start that business, create that product, or duplicate something that might NOT be yours! Especially during COVID-19!!


Francine D. Ward
Attorney-At-Law, Author, Speaker

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