Nov
8
2013

Legal: Using text and images from other sources like Facebook.. is that legal?

Authors and publishers should stay aware of copyright and fair use doctrines in the US especially. Here are two articles that help clarify the question about “using material posted on the web”. In general, using material posted on the Web is NOT ok, unless you are commenting on it (Fair Use). Also, providing the links and citations back to the source are usually a big part of being “ok”. If you begin claiming things as your own, that is when the trouble starts. Disclaimer, this is not legal advice from Robert. =========================================================== A Wooden Horse White Paper Post it on Facebook and anyone can use creative work, a newspaper insists Intellectual property attorney explains copyright and public domain when posting on social media Professional music photographer Kirsten Pierson shot a photo of Cranston, RI, singer Angela-Lynn Buckley and subsequently posted it on her Facebook page. When it also appeared in a local newspaper, Kirsten informed the paper that the image was hers and the publication should pay for it. In response the newspaper publisher left her a voice mail message (captured on YouTube) declaring that online content is in the public domain and he could therefore use it. The photo blog PetaPixel posted the story and the comments flew. Was the editor right? Was the photographer right? What rights did Facebook have? What rights do we give up when we post creative work on social media? Having heard the same hot questions from writers, illustrators and other creative artists for years, Wooden Horse decided to investigate. We asked intellectual property attorney Dana Robinson to weigh in. He is a founding partner of TechLaw, LLP, where his practice focuses on trademark prosecution, trademark licensing, copyrights, and business transactions. Dana is also an adjunct professor of law at the University of San Diego School of Law, where he is involved in the law school’s new Intellectual Property Law Clinic, and he is on the ICANN Implementation Advisory Group for the Trademark Clearinghouse. http://www.woodenhorsepub.com/business/resources/2013/copyright.html Fair use: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/ What Is Fair Use? In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a 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. If your use qualifies as a fair use, then it would not be considered an illegal infringement. So what is a “transformative” use? If this definition seems ambiguous or vague, be aware that millions of dollars in legal fees have been spent attempting to define what qualifies as a fair use. There are no hard-and-fast rules, only general rules and varied court decisions, because the judges and lawmakers who created the fair use exception did not want to limit its definition. Like free speech, they wanted it to have an expansive meaning that could be open to interpretation. Most fair use analysis falls into two categories: (1) commentary and criticism, or (2) parody. Commentary and Criticism If you are commenting upon or critiquing a copyrighted work – for instance, writing a book review – fair use principles allow you to reproduce some of the work to achieve your purposes. Some examples of commentary and criticism include: – See more at: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/what-is-fair-use/#sthash.ae73k VxR.dpuf Best! Robert Fletcher – CEO Linked In: www.linkedin.com/pub/robert-fletcher/27/982/5b4/ Twitter: @Robert_CEO, https://twitter.com/Robert_CEO CEO Blog: http://publishondemandglobal.com/blog/

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