- Welcome Chaman Sidhu!
- Copyright 101
- Your Say: Do you prefer dogs or cats?
- Get 50% Marketplace Credit Back on All PhotoDune Purchases in November
Posted: 27 Oct 2011 04:44 PM PDT
Chaman Sidhu is joining Envato as our Legal Director!
The best part about Chaman joining Envato is that her presence will benefit the entire community. When she started with Lonely Planet, Chaman single handedly launched the legal department, taking the company from strength to strength. There is no doubt she’s planning something similar for Envato. Sitting comfortably with a cup of tea, Chaman says she enjoys working with creative companies much more than in ‘boring’ law firms.
Impressed by Envato’s forward thinking, Chaman observes that “most companies would have waited another five years to bring in a legal department.”
When she’s not being a gun lawyer, Chaman spends her time with her two children and husband. She’s a self confessed foodie and is always thinking about her next meal, which probably means lots of delicious home cooking.
As I scribble down the last notes, our newest recruit checks her watch and says “isn’t it time for Chendo’s birthday cake?”
From everyone in the community lets give Chaman a big Envato welcome!
If you would like to read more about Chaman you can read an article about her time at Lonely Planet.
Posted: 27 Oct 2011 02:36 AM PDT
Do you find copyright a little fuzzy? Over the next week we’ll bring you four helpful articles on copyright from the Envato Wiki. This article can be found on the wiki here, and gives you a detailed overview about copyright.
Do you have any questions not covered in these articles? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll put something together to clarify.
1. What is Copyright?
Copyright is a legal concept that gives the author or creator of an original work the exclusive right to do certain things with that original work.
Copyright protection is principally given to literary, dramatic, artistic and musical works, cinematograph film, and television and sound broadcasts.
Copyright gives the owner the exclusive right to copy, publish, communicate (e.g. broadcast, make available online), publicly perform, and adapt the work. These rights are considered to be "economic rights" because they have value and the copyright owner can sell or license the rights to others for a fee.
In most jurisdictions, copyright creators also have a number of "non-economic rights". These are known as moral rights, and typically include the right to be attributed as the author of their work, the right not to have authorship falsely attributed, and the right to prevent derogatory treatment of their work that is prejudicial to their honour or reputation.
The general rule is that:
However, in some jurisdictions there may be important exceptions to the general rule. For example:
It is important to note that:
In each case, the author or software developer would retain ownership of copyright, but just grant the producer or the customer the right to use the work for the purpose specified in the license.
Given that copyright may be assigned or licensed to another person, you should not assume that the owner will be the author of the work in question or the author's employer. Ownership and the right to deal with copyright should be checked carefully in each particular case.
Copyright works may be made by more than one person and may be jointly owned. For a work to be jointly owned the contributions of each author must not be distinguishable. If various authors contribute separate parts they are not joint authors, but each own the copyright in their contribution.
3. How is Copyright Infringed?
Copyright is typically infringed if a work protected by copyright, or a "substantial part" of it, is used without permission in one of the ways exclusively reserved to the copyright owner. Although in some countries there are special exceptions which allow copyright material to be used without it being an infringement – for example, "fair use" exceptions.
When assessing whether a part of someone else's work that you wish to use is a "substantial part" you need to consider whether it is important, essential or distinctive part. The part does not have to be a large part to be "substantial" for the purposes of copyright law. It is the "quality" of the part not the "quantity" that is important. Even if you change or add to a part of someone else's work, you can infringe copyright if the part that you use is an important, essential or distinctive part of the original work.
A person who infringes copyright can be sued by the copyright owner and taken to court. A court can order a range of things, including that the infringer pay compensation and pay the copyright owner's costs. In some cases, a person who infringes copyright can be charged by the police, and can be ordered to pay a fine or, in serious cases, can be imprisoned.
Examples of copyright infringement include:
Copyright may also be infringed by:
4. Copyright Myths
The internet is not exempt from copyright law. In most countries, the relevant authorities have no difficulty applying traditional copyright laws to works published on the internet. As noted in section 1 above, a copyright owner enjoys certain exclusive rights, including the right to copy and communicate a work. Accordingly, it is copyright infringement to place someone else's work on the internet or to download or copy it from the internet, without the copyright owner's consent.
Whether you make any money from the unauthorised sale or distribution of a copyright protected work is irrelevant to the question of infringement. It is still a violation of the copyright owner's rights and there can still be serious damages awarded against you, especially if your actions harm the value of the work.
It is not mandatory to have a copyright notice on a work. However, a copyright notice strengthens the protection, by warning people that the work is copyright protected, and by allowing the copyright owner to get more and different damages. If a work looks like something that can be protected by copyright (e.g. a literary, dramatic, artistic or musical work), you should assume it is. You should not use anyone else's work unless you know the source.
Giving credit means you are not a plagiarist. However, merely giving credit is not a defence to copyright infringement – you still need to obtain the permission of the copyright owner to use the work.
While in some countries there are "fair use" exceptions, copyright is usually infringed if a work, or a "substantial part" of it, is used (without permission) in one of the ways exclusively reserved to the copyright owner.
When assessing whether a part is a "substantial part" you need to consider whether it is important, essential or distinctive part. The part does not have to be a large part to be "substantial" for the purposes of copyright law. A "substantial part" may be a very small portion, and less than 10%, of the entire original work. It is the "quality" of the part not the "quantity" that is important.
5. What can I use?
It is very important that you only sell things you have the right to sell.
You must ensure that you have all the necessary clearances, consents or licenses to use the assets incorporated into an item you wish to sell on an Envato™ marketplace. If you try to sell something that isn't yours to sell, or in respect of which you don't have the right to sell, it can have very serious consequences.
Misuse of assets in an item for resale is one of the main ways that authors mistakenly violate another person's copyright.
In this section, an "asset" means anything (images, videos, illustrations, music, code and so on) that is included in your item. For example, photos used in a design or music used in an After Effects project or sample videos used in a video player.
Please note that any item found to infringe on someone else's copyright because it includes someone else's assets without the necessary clearances, consents or licenses will immediately be removed, and further action may be taken depending on the severity of the infringement. The consequences for including copyright violating assets can be severe, and can include account disablement, freezing of funds, and even legal action. See section 8 of our Copyright Policy.
Please make sure you only include assets in your items that you own or have a license to use.
Envato has developed a series of house rules which, if followed, will minimise the risk of you infringing another person's copyright or other intellectual property rights when using the Envato™ marketplaces.
6. Other Intellectual Property Rights
Copyright is not the only intellectual property right that may apply to items for sale on an Envato™ marketplace.
Other intellectual property rights and legal theories include:
These types of intellectual property rights can sometimes overlap with each other. For example:
As a result, it is important that you do not consider copyright issues in isolation of other intellectual property rights.
7. Public Places and Art Works
The general rule is that it is permissible to take and sell photographs of public places, buildings and sculptures. However, there are exceptions in different countries around the world. For example, it is not permissible to take photographs of the Eiffel Tower at night time, and various building and monuments in the USA (e.g. Trans America building in San Francisco).
The custodians of some other public buildings vigorously protect the commercial exploitation of their intellectual property. For example, the Sydney Opera House Trust does not approve the use of images of the Sydney Opera House and its brand in commercial context where there is no association between the relevant business and Sydney Opera House. While there is no law specifically prohibiting use of images of the Sydney Opera House, use of an image of the Sydney Opera House may attract unwanted attention from the Sydney Opera House Trust if it believes that the use suggests an unauthorised association with it.
Councils and other government authorities may have restrictions on taking photographs for commercial use in certain areas e.g. on public beaches.
Because this area of the law can be a legal minefield, Envato has a house rule which prohibits the sale of items on any Envato™ marketplace that include photographs or images of artworks such as paintings, sculptures and some architectural buildings.
8. Images that Contain Trademarks
The reproduction, sale and use of images which contain trademarks is a complicated area of the law and whether it violates the trademark owner's rights depends on the particular image and how it is used.
For example, if you take a photograph of a watch with the brand name clearly visible, you will own copyright in the photograph. If you license the right to reproduce and use that photograph to someone who publishes an on-line directory of pictures of watches, your sale of that photograph and the use of the photograph by the publisher is not likely to infringe anyone's trademark rights. However, if you create an image that comprises of a silhouette of a pear with a bite taken out (i.e. deceptively similar to the Apple logo) and license the right to use that image to someone, who then uses it to brand a range of digital music players the position is likely to be different. While your sale of the image on its own is unlikely to infringe Apple's trademark rights, the use of that image on digital music players is likely to infringe Apple's trademark rights.
Due to the complexity of this area of the law, Envato has a house rule which requires that you obtain appropriate legal advice or all the necessary clearances, consents or licenses before you use images bought on an Envato™ marketplace that includes a trademark.
9. Images of People
The reproduction, sale and use of images of people is a complicated area of the law and whether it violates a person's rights depends on the particular image and how it is used.
Special care needs to be taken with images where the main feature or subject of the image is a person or a recognisable feature of a person, especially if the person is a famous person.
It is common practice and prudent for an artist, photographer or producer to obtain a model release from the person who is the subject of the image – regardless of the intended use of the image. A model release is a legal document that must be signed by the person granting permission to use their face or recognizable feature.
The buyer of an image of a person from an Envato™ marketplace should not use that image in connection with goods or services in a way that suggests the person endorses the goods or services, or has an association with someone, when the person does not.
Envato has a couple of house rules which deal with these issues.
10. Useful links
The governments of many countries have websites which provide information about intellectual property rights and which provide advice based on the laws of the country.
A selection of links to these sites follows:
There are also many other free resources on the internet publishing information and advice about intellectual property and which can be readily accessed by use of a search engine. These include materials published by law firms and public sector bodies which promote the value of intellectual property and compliance with intellectual property laws, such as:
Posted: 26 Oct 2011 08:00 PM PDT
We want to hear from you. Each week we give you a chance to share your thoughts, opinions and ideas. Have your say!
It’s time to get controversial, and ask you to answer an important, age-old question. Do you prefer dogs or cats? Why?
If you love pets, look out for a post (or series of posts) coming next week about the pets of Team Envato. It should be interesting!
Posted: 26 Oct 2011 07:14 PM PDT
Buy photos on PhotoDune in the month of November and at the end of the month we’ll credit you back 50% of the total purchase price into your account! Choose from over 330,000 fantastic quality photos from some of the best microstock photographers in the world. Our prices are already extremely affordable, but now you’ll get half your spend back as credits, so you can buy even more! And best of all, authors will still earn their regular commissions.
All you need to do is head over to PhotoDune any time in November and buy photos! It’s that easy! For every dollar you spend on PhotoDune during the month of November, we’ll credit you fifty cents back the following month to spend on anything you like, including our other Envato Marketplaces.
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