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Yes, my work (Computers Country Style) is under copyright. Although the purpose of this website is to help folks learn, it is NOT intended to be a free source of content for someone else's website. Please contact me if you have a question.

General Information

Just because it is on the internet does not mean it is free to copy

People can be confused about what is and what is not acceptable when it come to copying work done by someone else. Some people don't know or don't understand the differences between copyright, creative commons license and/or public domain. Some people simply don't care. This is a little summary of the information from the resources listed at the end of this article.

Copyright Infringement on the Web:

The most common types of copyright infringement on the Web are images being used on Web sites other than the owners. . . . .  It is also common for the text, HTML, and script elements of a page to be taken and reused. If you have not gotten permission, you have violated the owner's copyright.

Source: http://webdesign.about.com/od/copyright/a/aa081700a.htm

Basically, whoever created the item has the copyright at the time of creation. They don't need to have a copyright notice on their work for it to be under copyright if it was created after 1977. Copyright means that the creator, or owner of the copyright, is the person who can decide how and when the work is used.

Public Domain:

Items that are in the public domain may be copied and used at will. However, if the work was published after 1977 and the owner of the copyright does not state that it is in the Public Domain, then it is not. People can give up the copyright to certain pieces of their work by specifically stating they are putting those certain pieces into the Public Domain.

Cordell University lists what was in the public domain in the U.S. as of 1 January 2009 and gives explanations of which works require a notice and which do not: Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm

Creative Commons Licenses:

Creative Commons http://creativecommons.org is a nonprofit organization which

defines the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright and the public domain. From all rights reserved to no rights reserved. Our licenses help you keep your copyright while allowing certain uses of your work — a “some rights reserved” copyright.

So, these licenses come with different restrictions. The web site author who has opted to release his/her work under one of the Creative Commons Licenses will generally state what is required and have a link to the license he/she is using.

  1. Six main types of licenses: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ 
  2. There are also special creative common licenses for software.

Resources for More Information:

  1. Copyright - Web Images and Scripts are protected by Copyright:  http://javascript.about.com/od/reference/a/copyright.htm
  2. Copyright on the Web - Part 1: Being on the Web Doesn't Make it Public Domain - Protect Your Rights: http://webdesign.about.com/od/copyright/a/aa081700a.htm
  3. Copyright on the Web - Part 2: Obtaining Permission: http://webdesign.about.com/od/copyright/a/aa081700b.htm
  4. Copyright Issues on the Web & Intellectual Property: http://webdesign.about.com/od/copyright/Copyright_Issues_on_the_Web_Intellectual_Property.htm
  5. Copyrights & Wrongs: http://www.oz.net/~markhow/writing/copy.htm This article first appeared in the March 1997 issue of the Journal of Online Genealogy
  6. 10 Big Myths about copyright explained: http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html
  7. Avoiding Copyright Infringement - Keeping Your Artwork Legal: http://drawsketch.about.com/cs/resources/a/copyright_3.htm
  8. How to Fight Copyright Violations - Get Your Content Off Other Sites:  http://webdesign.about.com/od/copyright/ss/fight_theft.htm
  9. U. S. Copyright Office - Law and Policy: http://www.copyright.gov/laws/
  10. U. S. Copyright Office - Fair Use: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material. . . . . When it is impracticable to obtain permission, use of copyrighted material should be avoided unless the doctrine of “fair use” would clearly apply to the situation.

Source: U. S. Copyright Office - Fair Use: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html