Online piracy really rose into the public view back when Napster took over the online music scene. The site, which was shut down back in 2001, was still in the relatively early days of the internet, but it showed just how easy it was for people to essentially steal digital files.
Say you create some sort of artistic work, like a novel or a book of poems, and then you decide that you do not want to have full control of it anymore. Perhaps someone else came up to you and made an offer to buy it if they would then be allowed to use it and sell it.
You spent years or even decades working on your art. Maybe you write novels, make videos or paint pictures. Maybe you're a photographer or a graphic artist. Exactly what you do is not important; the key is that you invested a lot of your time, energy and talent into that work.
There are many different ways to protect intellectual property. Three of the most common are patents, trademarks and copyrights.
Have you heard someone say that they took out a "poor man's copyright?" Have you wondered exactly what they meant and whether or not it is a good idea?
In a lot of cases, plagiarism is clear and may violate a copyright. If someone steals a text entirely and tries to pass it off as their own, that's plagiarism. They stole the content. When you compare the two, they look identical.
Once you've written your great American novel, you may be understandably excited to publish it.
The Copyright Act allows the owners of copyright-protected material to pursue financial damages in the event that another party pilfers and profits from their intellectual property. The damages that the copyright holder can pursue in these cases is the actual amount of damages caused by the infringement in addition to the profits earned by the violator of the copyright.
Let's imagine for a moment that you write the next "Great American Novel," and -- since no publisher has recognized the greatness of your work -- you decide to post your entire novel on the Internet. A year later, you're pleased to find that you have a number of fans who are enjoying your work. However, you're not pleased to find that certain individuals have made a copy of your manuscript, and they're now selling hard copies of your work without your permission.
If you own a copyright, one thing you may wish to do at some point is transfer it to another entity. Copyrights are personal property, and you have the right to transfer it to others if you wish. Your exclusive rights bind the idea or product to you, but you can transfer the copyright through a contract.