Along with blogging comes responsibility and ignorance of the law is no excuse. Copyrightable works include but are not limited to literary works such as articles, blog posts, stories, journals, or computer programs, pictures and graphics, as well as audio and video recordings. Copyrights do not need not be applied for as they are vested in the creators of intellectual property. When we create something — we own the copyright, which is our exclusive right as the creator to control who else can use our work and in what manner. *
Berne Convention – International Copyright Agreement
The Berne Convention (for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works) was established in 1886 and is an international agreement that governs copyright. The Berne Convention requires its signatories to recognize the copyright of works of authors from other signatory countries (known as members of the Berne Union) in the same way as it recognizes the copyright of its own nationals.
In the United States, the Library of Congress officially registers copyrights which now last for the life of the author plus 70 years.
- In the case of a joint work prepared by two or more authors who did not do a work for hire, the term lasts for 70 years after the last surviving author’s death.
- In the case of works for hire, and for anonymous and pseudonymous works (unless the author’s identity is revealed in Copyright Office records), the duration of copyright will be 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.
Thanks to organizations like Creative Commons, licenses like the GNU Free Documentation License, and the public domain, there are many images, songs, movies and documents freely available for you to download and republish without fear of violating copyright.
Public domain definition: The public domain is generally defined as consisting of works that are either ineligible for copyright protection or with expired copyrights. Public domain refers to the total absence of copyright protection for work The public domain is a range of abstract materials commonly referred to as intellectual property which are not owned or controlled by anyone. The term indicates that these materials are therefore “public property”, and available for anyone to use for any purpose.
Once in the public domain, it is always in the public domain. However, any variation on any public domain work becomes the property of the person making the variation, and it receives an automatic copyright, just as do completely original works.
When Copyright Protection Becomes Public Domain
The data below will let you know when you can safely use a piece of art or music without permission because it is now in public domain after copyright protection expiration, or how long the copyright protection will last.
|Published before 1923 – now in public domain.
||Published from 1923 to 1963 – When published with a copyright notice © or “Copyright [dates] by [author/owner]” – copyright protection lasts 28 years and could be renewed for an additional 67 years for a total of 95 years. If not renewed, now in public domain.||Published from 1923 to 1963 – When published with no notice – now in public domain.||Published from 1964 to 1977 – When published with notice – copyright protection lasts 28 years for first term; automatic extension of 67 years for second term for a total of 95 years.|
|Created before 1/1/1978 but not published – copyright notice is irrelevant – copyright protection lasts for the life of author and 70 years or 12/31/2002, whichever is greater.||Created before 1/1/1978 and published between 1/1/1978 and 12/31/2002 – notice is irrelevant – copyright protection lasts the life of author and 70 years or 12/31/2047, whichever is greater.||Created 1/1/1978 or after – When work is fixed in tangible medium of expression – notice is irrelevant – copyright protection lasts for the life of author and 70 years based on the longest living author if jointly created or if work of corporate authorship, works for hire, or anonymous and pseudonymous works, the shorter of 95 years from publication, or 120 years from creation.|
* Reblogging and WordPress.com Terms of Service: “By submitting Content to Automattic for inclusion on your Website, you grant Automattic a world-wide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting your blog.”
I have listed many free sources of images on my Resources page and my list is by no means complete. Do you have favorite sources of free images, songs, movies and documents you would like to share? If so please comment so I can include your sources on my Resources page as well.
Related posts found in this blog:
Copyright basics for bloggers
How to copyright your digital works
Content theft: The come and get it solution
Splog Off! Dealing with content theft
SplogSpot: Dealing with content thieves
Copyright: Fair Use Limitations
What is copyright?