Not everyone uses their own photos on Instagram. It started as a platform to simply share the pictures you took with your smartphone, but it has evolved into much more than that, especially when considering branding.
Have you ever met someone with exactly the same name that you have? For those of us with unique names, it's uncommon, but for those with more prevalent and popular names, it does happen. We usually laugh it off.
You write a book, release it, and then notice there is another book with a similar title that came out shortly after yours. Worried that this may detract from your own sales, you wonder if you can copyright the title and force them to change it. Will this work?
You design buildings for a living, working as an architect and designing everything from high-level skyscrapers to mansions to single-family homes. You do it all, and people pay well for your services.
The internet has forever altered the way that we sell art. It has made it easier than ever for artists to put their work out and find an audience all on their own, no matter how obscure it may be.
There's been an increase in individuals studying computer science or becoming hobbyist programmers during the past few decades. Many of these individuals have left their hard work readily accessible online without taking the time to copyright their work. This has allowed others to take their program, embellish it and put it out there as if it were all their own. This is unfortunate as copyrighting software is one of the easiest and most cost-effective things that you can do.
You know that copyrights protect things like novels and photographs. These solid works of art are owned by their creators in most cases, unless that ownership is sold -- in the case of a commissioned work, for instance. But what about the performing arts? Do those get the same protection?
Generally speaking, a copyright is automatically granted to an artist as soon as they create a work. This could be a painting or a photograph or a song, for instance. Once it has been created, the work is theirs and cannot be used by anyone else without their permission.
The internet is a great place for spreading pictures, art, information and much else, but it also creates a problem. For photographers, for instance, it may mean that their photos get stolen and used without their permission. Many pictures get passed around so much -- all people need to do to save a digital picture is right-click and save it to the computer -- that few people have any idea who the original creator was.
People sometimes confuse public access with public domain. One of the biggest copyright myths is that these two things are actually the same. They are very different.