For today’s post, I thought it might be helpful to do a bit of copyright myth busting. Set out below you’ll find a series of statements that many people think are true but all of which are wrong. They’re myths. I repeat: they’re wrong. And to be clear, they’re all made in situations where the maker of the statement does not have permission (a licence) from the copyright owner to copy the copyright work or a substantial part of it or to modify it.
- “As long as I give credit to the author of what I’m copying, it’s OK, even if I copy a substantial part of the author’s work.”
- “I think my use is fair, so surely I can rely on the fair use defence (and that’s what I’ll say).”
- “I have a disclaimer. I say ‘I don’t mean to breach Jane Blogg’s copyright.’ That will protect me.”
- “There’s no copyright sign, so I can use it.”
- “If I ask a copyright owner for permission and don’t hear back, it’s OK to use her material.”
- “I’ve copied a number of pages of text but I’ve changed some words and a couple of sentences, so I’m OK.”
- “I’ve only copied 20%/30% of their work, so I’ll be OK.”
- “The content is publicly available online, so anyone can use it.”
As I say, these are all myths, so don’t let them trip you up and give you a headache when you’re creating your course.
To learn a great deal more about what you can and cannot do with other people’s copyright material, take a look at my ebook Use Others’ Content Safely.