In the Internet era, copyright is frequently infringed. As a rule, for everything you can find, there are very high chances that it is protected by copyright because in the most legislations copyright exists without registration. Many rights owners include the symbol © to emphasize that thier work is protected by copyright and that all rights are reserved. However, copyright owners are not required to provide notice.
Even if a work is protected, you may use it in certain circumstances. Otherwise known as fair use this kind of use applies to noncommercial purposes such as criticism, commentary, or teaching, but the drawback is that fair use is a highly subjective concept to define.
Of course, copyright has some limits and in certain cases the protection doesn’t apply: for example, for facts and ideas.
Copyright infringement is imposed on a strict liability basis, which means that your state of mind in committing an infringement is completely irrelevant under the law for the purposes of determining whether or not you must pay damages.
With that in mind, there are some steps you can take in order to try avoiding content ownership issues:
Don’t forget that appropriating someone else’s work without permission is illegal, whether in the form of words, music, images or video.
Intellectual property law is a constantly changing field, and even if the the law may be clear, its implementation may not be. If you have a complicated IP issue or simply have unanswered questions it may be best to contact us.