Kostis P. Dolapsis Krassanakis
How Can I Avoid Infringing on Someone's Copyright?
The best way to avoid infringing on the rights of another creative person is to use your skill, talent and imagination to create your own completely original work. When we use the word 'original' we don't mean that you must come up with an idea which hasn't been used before - recall that copyright does not protect ideas. When used in reference to copyright "original" means that you created your work without referencing or deliberately copying anyone else's work during the process.
Ensure that all parts of your work, both visual and audio, are your own original creations. If you have used materials which are owned by other people or companies make certain that you have obtained proper permission or licensing for the use before you place your work online.
What Sort of Things are Copyrighted?
The easy answer to this question is that just about any creative work that is less than 150 years old you might find should be considered copyrighted by default.
A work is not required to have a copyright statement printed on it or near it in order to be considered copyrighted so do not assume that the work is unprotected simply because you cannot see a notice written anywhere.
Also do not confuse the fact that a work is publicly available with the idea that it is in the public domain or free for use. Being easy to find on the internet does not affect a work's copyrighted status.
There are many exceptions to the 150 year guideline, but you are best advised to obtain legal advice from an expert if you intend to rely on the possibility that a modern work is not copyrighted.
What about "Fair Use"
"Fair Use" is the notion that some public and private uses of copyrighted works should not require the permission of a copyright owner. These circumstances are very limited, complex to analyze under the law and require the help of expert advice from a lawyer. We recommend you talk to your own lawyer if you want to know more about fair use as it applies to the work you are doing. If it turns out that it isn't fair use, you may be liable for very serious money damages.
If you take my work down am I protected from a lawsuit?
No. Even if DeviantArt takes an infringing work down, you may still be responsible for very significant damages if the copyright owner decides to sue you.
Notification of Copyright Infringement
Instructions for Copyright Owners
This section contains the formal requirements of the Copyright Act with respect to the rights of copyright owners whose content appears on DeviantArt without authorization and instruction to copyright owners.
To file a copyright infringement notification with DeviantArt (also commonly known as a "DMCA takedown notice"), the copyright owner or an authorized agent acting on his or her behalf will need to send a written communication that includes substantially the following:
1. A physical or electronic signature of the copyright owner or of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
2. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.
3. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material. In this regard please provide URLs when you identify the location of the material.
4. Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.
5. A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
6. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
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