Copyright - An overview
(see the end of this page for copyright statement for this web site)
Intellectual property theft is a growing problem on the Internet. Anyone can right-click on an image, save it to their hard drive, and then use it on their web site. Anyone can copy and paste an article or review from your site, reproduce it, and claim authorship of it.
These notes serve as a basic introduction to copyright law, and what we do to protect our work.
What is Copyright?
Copyright is a form of law protecting an author from having their work reproduced without authorisation. Please note that copyright law does not cover names, ideas and in some cases logos. It does apply to written works, images, music, and photographs.
When is work Copyrighted?
All work, with the exceptions of the types listed above, is copyrighted from the moment you create it. You don't have to put a copyright sign on your work, nor register it in order for it to be protected under copyright law. Nevertheless, doing both of those things will help your case if you ever have to take anyone to court.
Here's the text that you should put at the bottom of every page on your site: The contents of this site are copyright (c) 1999, Your Name. All Rights Reserved. Be sure to replace (c) with the copyright symbol, which in HTML is "©" - without the quotation marks.
In the US, registering With The US Copyright Office Since copyright law prohibits the reproduction of work "in part or in whole" you can register your entire site and all its images as a single work with the US Copyright Office, and you'll be protected under copyright law. The price of registration is $30.
What's 'Fair Use'?
Fair Use law allows you to reproduce a small part of someone else's work. For example, it is legal to quote a paragraph or two from a book for a report. It would also be legal to take two or three sentences from this article, or one of my reviews, and use the quote on your site. Just remember, that the content has to be attributed to the creator.
Can I Prevent My Text/Images From Being Taken?
However, there is a service out there that will "watermark" your images, and then constantly scan the web looking for sites with images that contain your watermark. You can find more information about this innovative product and service at DigiMarc.com.
How Do I Avoid Getting Into Trouble?
Either create all of your own content, or get permission to reproduce the work of others and give them credit for it on your site. Ask permission before using ANYTHING on your site that you didn't create. If you can't contact the creator of it, or you don't know who the creator is, don't use it. It's better to play it safe, than have your site shut down by your web hosting company, getting sued, and potentially being convicted of a Federal crime. Be sure to note that taking someone else's work, and making modifications to it, and then claiming ownership is also illegal. The changes would have to be very substantial, and even then, if it has a resemblance to another work, you'd have a hard time proving your case in court.
I am not a lawyer. This article is not meant to replace the advice from a qualified intellectual property lawyer.
Copyright statement for this web site
You should assume that everything you see or read on this web site is copyrighted unless otherwise noted and may not be used except as provided in this statement or in the text on the web site, without the written permission of Hartshorne Parish Council. Hartshorne Parish Council neither warrants nor represents that your use of materials displayed on the web site will not infringe rights of third parties not owned by or affiliated with Hartshorne Parish Council.
Images, photographs or illustrations displayed on this web site are either the property of, or used with permission by, Hartshorne Parish Council. The use of these materials by you, or anyone else authorised by you, is prohibited unless specifically permitted by this statement or specific permission provided elsewhere on the web site.
Any unauthorised use of the images may violate copyright laws, trademark laws, the laws of privacy and publicity, and communications regulations and statutes.
Note the copyright statement at the bottom of this and every other page on this web site.
The contents of this site are copyright © by Hartshorne Parish Council 2017. All rights reserved.