What You Should Know About Copyrights To Prevent Your Site From Being Shutdown

If you are in business chances are your marketing plan includes some sort of social media. Your social media goals include increasing your following and interaction on these platforms. You know the importance of building your email list so that you can stay connected to your followers on your own terms. For many the disabling of the popular Hollywood gossip site The Shade Room’s Facebook page was an epic reminder of exactly why having your own list is important.   For me, it served as an epic reminder of why copyright awareness is important to business owners.copyright infringement

Young entrepreneur, Angelica Nwandu’s popular social media page, was shut down yesterday after multiple violations of copyright infringement. At the end of 2015 my Markers (the name my lovely legal intern and I just came up with for the wonderful ambitious entrepreneurs and business owners that follow me who are leaving their mark on the world) made a vow to implement better business practices. It’s 2016 and some business owners are still playing games as it relates to using material that does not belong to them. They choose to rely on common copyright myths instead of learning the facts. I am hosting a free webinar to discuss and dispel these myths but here are three things you should know about copyright infringement.

1. Intent is not required

You can infringe on someone’s copyright even if you didn’t mean to.   If you are using work that you didn’t create chances are it belongs to someone. Find out who the owner is and get permission. This is not always easy to do which is why so many people find themselves infringing on other’s work.

2. It’s criminal

If you willfully infringe on someone’s work for commercial advantage you can be facing jail time. I’m not talking state prison either. If you are indicted and found guilty you could be placed in the custody of the Federal Bureaus of Prison. Fortunately, it takes more than a showing that copyrighted material was reproduced or distributed to prove that the infringement was willful.

3. False notices can cost you

At one-time copyright notices, you know © and the language that follows, were required for copyright registration. Today that is no longer the case, however, I still recommend the giving notice. It takes away the question of whether the work is protected which can deter people from infringing on your work. If by chance you knowingly add a copyright notice to work you know doesn’t belong to you, it could cost you up to $2,500.

Interested in learning the truth regarding common copyright myths?  Join me Tuesday, April 26th for a free live training.

Copyright Muyths

LaConya Murray, Esq.
The Small Business Attorney

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