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Misconceptions of Copyright

Misconceptions of Copyright

 

  1. One of the most common misunderstandings centers around notice of copyright. In 1989, the United States signed the internationally accepted Berne Copyright Convention, which grants copyright with or without notice. Thus, the only safe assumption is that everything is copyrighted, unless you have definite knowledge that it is not covered, for instance, materials published by the federal government.
  2. A second, related technical misconception is that if an item is on Usenet, it is public domain (not copyrighted). For anything to be in the public domain, the creator or owner must include a statement putting the material into the public domain. 
  3. There is also a common belief that if one does not charge for or gain financially from the usage, there is no violation of copyright. This is not necessarily true. In terms of films, videos, and music, even a free public performance requires permission if you did not pay for performance rights.