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BGD Partner Daniel Boots Co-Authors Common Sense Guide to Copyright Online


BGD partner Daniel L. Boots has co-authored the “Common Sense Guide to Copyright Online” with SpinWeb Content Manager Stephanie Fisher. The 24-page e-book discusses common questions that arise when managing online content.

Copyright laws can be deceivingly complicated, and have become even more so in recent years. Digital technology has made image sharing, music downloading, and other forms of copying from the Internet all too easy for one to infringe unknowingly another’s copyrighted work. This has altered the common perception of what is allowed under the law. While perceptions may have changed, the law has not always necessarily kept up in this new age.

Boots and Fisher seek to help answer the common questions related to copyright law that businesses and individuals face often in their daily operations, including:

  • How can one tell if a work is copyrighted?
  • When is it safe to assume copyright no longer applies?
  • What is Fair Use?
  • Can I use someone’s photograph or pre-existing content as long as I name my source and link back to their website?

This e-book is a simplified and useful guide to the laws that govern copyrights online. In it, Boots and Fisher dispel common myths about copyrights and define what can and cannot be copyrighted. For example:

  • In order for material to become copyright eligible, the work must be (1) original, (2) a qualifying type of work, (3) authored, (4) fixed in tangible form.
  • The copyright in a work exists immediately upon its creation and fixation - registering that copyright with the US Copyright Office is a separate, and strongly encouraged, process.
  • Contrary to popular belief, works can (and should) be affixed with the federal copyright statutory notice (“©”) even without federal registration. However, the enforceability of the copyright is severely limited until registered.

The guide also educates readers on the intricacies surrounding infringement, works made-for-hire, and Fair Use of online and offline copyrighted materials. The two included case studies provide readers a sense of how basic copyright principles are applied in common cases. The guide also provides readers with basic instructions for how to use various online materials, including blogs, photos and videos.

To learn more about Daniel L. Boots and his practice, please visit his profile.

Learn more about BGD’s Intellectual Property & Technology practice and service offerings here.


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