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Play It Safe: Making Sure You're Not Committing Copyright Infringement
Copyright infringement is not an easy thing to explain. While it may seem as simple as not using someone else?s work, it?s not that easy. Thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and many other organizations, we have the ability to use others? works ? as long as we use it under ?fair use? laws. So what does fair use have to do with copyright infringement, and how can you utilize it?
Fair use laws are the conditions in which you can use a copyrighted work without having to pay someone royalties. This includes when you use a copyrighted work for educational or instructional uses, criticism of the work, commentaries on the work, news reporting about the work, teaching on the work (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship uses, and research. This is talked about fully in Section 107 of the Copyright Code (commonly called Fair Use) and is available for you to read at your local library.
Copyright Infringement in day-to-day life
Sometimes, if you?re writing a paper for work or school, or if you are creating a Power Point presentation, you need to use someone?s work that is already in copyright. So how do you use it without committing copyright infringement? All you have to do is ask ? the worst they can say is no, right? But, if they do say no, there are several items in the public domain which may help you to finish your project without having to commit copyright infringement.
What is the public domain, and how does it relate to copyright infringement?
Material that is not copyrighted is considered in the public domain ? you cannot commit copyright infringement on works in the public domain. These works include things that the copyright has expired on, or is not copyright-able ? such as government publications, jokes, titles, and ideas. Some creators (writers, musicians, artists, and more) deliberately put their work in the public domain, without ever obtaining copyright, by providing an affiliation with Creative Commons. Creative Commons allows people who create materials to forfeit some, or all, of their copyright rights and place their work either partially or fully in the public domain.
So, how do I ensure I?m not committing copyright infringement?
First of all, if you?re going to use someone else?s material, you may want to check the public domain to see if something is suitable for use, instead of trying to use someone else?s copyright. However, if you can?t find something suitable (and you can?t create something yourself), the next best thing (and your only legal course of action) is to find a piece that is in copyright, and contacting the copyright holder.
When you contact the copyright holder, make sure you tell them what you want to use their piece for ? whether it?s for your blog, podcast, or report ? and ask them if you can use it. You may have to pay royalties, or an attribution in your piece, or a combination of both. The creator may also place many limitations on when and how you can use their material. Follow all these instructions they give you, and you?ll be free and clear to use their work as you want.
Once you have permission to use a copyrighted work, you need to make sure you stay within the agreed-upon boundaries - if you veer outside their agreed terms, you may open yourself up for a copyright infringement lawsuit ? which can be nasty, costly, and time consuming. If you?re in doubt, before contacting the copyright holder, contact a copyright lawyer to ensure you?re following the law ? and protect yourself!
Quest of Becoming a Writer (becoming a writer) Finding ones? true calling is one of the hardest things in life. There are some people who believe that they are meant to sing, or dance, or even write. Like all things, becoming a writer is a process and there are many hurdles and even steps, potential writers must take in their quest of making their writing dream come true. It has been said that the art of writing is exploration of you, your own thoughts, your own motivations, and your own goals. However, there is much more to being a writer that just learning to be a good writer. Potential writers must realize that a career writer is one that recognizes writing as a profession and craft that can be turned into a career. The first step to becoming a writer is the most obvious, which is writing. If one is going to make writing their career then they must write first. There are many who believe that writers have no excuse not to write. A writer who does not want to write may be classified as someone who doesn?t want to be a writer. However, there are many people who don?t have the time to write, and in some cases it is best for potential writers to get jobs that make use of their writing skills. Most writers believe that to become a writer you must work as a fiction writer, but there are many jobs that offer the experience needed to become a professional writer. Although the creative process may not be the same as writing fiction, by acquiring a job that uses their writing skills, potential writers will be able to write more creatively and efficiently as fiction writers. Nonfiction writing jobs include, journalism, becoming a technical writer, becoming a technical editing, science writing, marketing communications, sales writing, resume writing, freelancing, and many more. There are many writers who don?t believe that they have to write or obtain a job in writing to become a great writer, but writing is the key to becoming a writer. Another key step for potential writers is to use logic to create the vision, and to achieve the desired goal. Before writing, it is important to think about what you want to write, instead of thinking of what can be gain from writing. It is typical for many writers to site personal gain as their reason for writing, instead of financial gain. There are some who believe that you can?t put a price on pursuing a dream. Becoming a writer also requires working long, and odd hours. A creative idea may strike at any moment, and it is advisable for writers to write and to expand their ideas, no matter what time of day it may be. Potential professional writers should also become comfortable with their place as a writer, and comfortable with their own creative process. If you are going to write, it is best to find a process that works best for you, and to use that process in all of your endeavors as a writer. Writers who have a steady process and who strive to become better and to write more will eventually achieve the success they want. Potential writers should also know that writers? block is not real, and many times writers cannot write, because they are lacking something and may need to fill a need in order to return to their comfortable place of writing. Becoming a writer is not easy and many writers may run away when they see all the hard work that is required. However, there are many who pursue their dreams and who become the writers they always wanted to be. So, while it may be easy to run away, it is always more rewarding to face a challenge and come out on the other end as the victor, and for many that means becoming a writer.
Let your Resume Speak Volumes for that Next Big Job Before you even get through the door of any job interview, there is already one document that has done the talking for you ? your resume. A good resume can mean the difference between getting the call of the interview and waiting by phone, and a well written, thoughtful resume can make you stand out over and above other applications with similar skills and work experience. Let your resume give you the edge on that next big job by following a few simple tips. When you sit down to write your resume, you need to plan it out before you start typing. There are two main formats for a resume: the chronological format, in which you simply list your job history, starting with your most recent or current job and moving backwards, and the functional format, in which you highlight your skills and experience rather than specific jobs and specific employers. The chronological format is definitely the most common, and many employers prefer this kind of resume, but choose the format this is going to show off your skills in the best light. If your work history is a choppy and a chronological format resume would only draw attention to that, use the functional format. The key is to choose the format that will give you the best chance of getting noticed for the job and to stick with the format throughout your resume. No matter which resume format you choose to use, the top of your resume should always include your name, contact information and work objectives. Name and contact information is pretty straight forward, although experts do recommend that if you have a ?gender neutral? name that you include a helpful ?Mr.? or ?Ms? to clear up any confusion. Your work objectives should be your career goals. For instance, if you want to manage a small team of sales people, then say that, so your potential employers know that you are moving in a certain direction with your career and not simply apply for jobs willy-nilly. After your work objective comes your work experience. List your jobs in reverse chronological order. Instead of simply creating a bullet pointed list your work related tasks, look for a way to frame all of your responsibilities so that they sound like you showed leadership and problem solving capabilities. For instance, if you were in charge of keeping the expensive accounts in order, say that you were in charge of troubleshooting monthly expense account records, saving the company hundreds of dollars every month. If you have a few blips in your work history, be clear about what you were doing in the downtime. If you were raising children, traveling, or in school, say that you were. If you weren?t really doing anything, put as positive a spin on things as you can without lying. Never leave gaps in your work history unaddressed on your resume. After your work history, it is time to list your education credentials. If you didn?t finish a degree, say how much college work you completed and highlight any coursework relevant to the job. If your college degree or post grad work is in progress, say when you expect to be finished. This is another place where gaps matter. If there is a gap in your education history, again say what you were doing in that time, referring back to your work history where appropriate. You can overcome these gaps as long as you don?t pretend that they don?t exist. Round out your resume by listing any awards and professional memberships you may hold. Don?t get into your hobbies unless they are specifically related to the position for which you are applying. Personal details like religion and race have no place on your resume and you are not required to disclose your age. Instead, let your experience do the talking.