At Ignite Dublin #4, held in TCD’s Science Gallery as part of last week’s Trinity Week celebrations, I gave a 20-slides-in-5-minutes presentation on Ten Copyright Myths, in part because the previous weekend saw the 300th anniversary of the first modern copyright statute, the Statute of Anne, 1710 (fascimile | transcript | wikipedia). For the day that’s in it, here’s a YouTube video of my presentation:
For those who don’t have 5 minutes to watch, here are the myths debunked:
- You don’t need to put the copyright symbol © on a text to claim copyright. All that matters is that the work is original.
- You don’t need to put it in an envelope and send it to yourself. If the work is original, then copyright just vests.
- There is no doctrine of fair use outside of the United States. Instead, there is a much more limited doctrine of fair dealing for the purposes of research or criticism.
- Just because something has been published on the internet doesn’t mean that it’s in the public domain. There’s a lot less in the public domain than you might think.
- Taking a work, and transforming it, still infringes copyright.
- Giving credit is important; but if the taking is a copyright infringement, giving credit doesn’t change that fact.
- Taking a copyright work, but not charging for your use, will still be an infringement if the taking is a copyright infringement.
- The fact that the original author is dead doesn’t mean the work is out of copyright. The copyright term is the life of the author plus seventy years.
- Creative Commons is a good development, but it’s just a system of licences or permissions, and it won’t change the copyright world.
- Finally, just because Google are copying books doesn’t mean the rest of us can: they have permission pursuant to a court settlement.
So, there you have it, ten copyright myths debunked. What others would you add to the list?