Now that it's online... is it still mine?





Before you publish and share your content online, it is important to understand how your work can and cannot be used on the Internet, and the steps you can take to ensure that you are credited — and maybe even paid — for the work you produce.

This is what you need to know about copyright laws and the right you — and others — have to your writing, photos, video and other creative content when it is shared online:

- You should be the owner and copyright holder of the content you produce at your college newspaper, unless you signed a work-for-hire contract.

- A work-for-hire contract means that the newspaper is the owner of the content you produce for commercial purposes — but this is rare at college newspapers.

- If your newspaper publishes the work online and the content is shared among other Web sites, you are still the copyright owner.

- Ownership of content and the right or license to use content are different: As the owner you are the only person legally allowed to sell your content and make a profit from duplications. You do not need to own content to link to it online provided there is not a direct profit from the use of the original work.

- Generally, it is legal for another site to link to your work as long as it is obvious that you are the owner of that work. It is not legal if the Web site is suggests it is the owner of the original content.

- If you feel that someone is infringing your copyright, ask yourself these questions: Am I sure the work is mine? And do I know the use is illegal? If the answer to both questions is ‘yes,’ notify the designated agent of the service provider that infringing work is on the server.


reports, Spring 2010
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