Definition of copyright infringement
Understanding copyright legislation is important for those using copyrighted material on their computers and online. This includes the majority of music, video, and pictures that most people have on their computers. It also allows one to better understand the questions of, ‘what is online piracy? ’ and ‘why is piracy illegal? ’ Although copyright legislation differs from country to country, and it is best to know the copyright laws of the country that you reside in, there are some basic core elements that are more or less universal, and it is these rules that are seen as forming the bulwark of international copyright conventions.
In most countries, a song, video, or image is automatically copyrighted under the law from the moment that it is recorded, taken or created. There was a time in the past, as for example in the United States, when a person who made a recording or wrote a book, would have to actually apply for it’s copyright. However this is no longer the case, and so it is important to basically assume that any song, video, image, software, or ebook is protected by copyright unless there is something that clearly indicates to the contrary. For example there is a lot of free software available on the Internet and this will usually be indicated as such by having a license such as GNU General Public License. This may be used by all, and distributed for free, but not used to create a propriety version of that software that can then be sold under normal copyright regulations. So what about music or movies that you have legally downloaded? What does it take for you to break the copyright rules with regards to such media? The basic rule here is that you can do whatever you like with such media unless what you are doing constitutes copyright infringement. It is therefore important to get an understanding of copyright infringement.
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