Top 5 Ways to Avoid Violating Intellectual Property Laws

With so many pictures, videos, and blogs getting uploaded every day content is moving quickly on the internet and sometime it’s hard to tell what is protected and what is not. How do you legally respond to and navigate a world that is changing so quickly? Here are my top 5 ways to avoid violating intellectual property laws.

  1. If you aren’t the first to think it, do it, or create it then do not claim you did (and include whoever it was that was first). Also, depending on your project, you may not want to even use it.
  2. When in doubt cite it. It’s much better to over cite than under cite.
  3. http://creativecommons.org/ – go here for images, video, and music you can’t produce yourself. All the media you’ll find on here has various licenses that will inform you what you can use it for and what you can’t so pay attention.
  4. ALWAYS ask permission whenever possible – even if you feel confident that you can use it still – ASK.
  5. Know the difference between copyright, patents, and trademarks. If you think you may need to brush up on your knowledge of the three you may want to check out this guide hosted by the Beckman Center for Internet and Society.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your take.

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