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"copyright" category

SOPA - so what was that all about then?

19th January 2012
Categories: copyright

After some of the backers of SOPA, the proposed anti-piracy legislation, have withdrawn their support, it looks like a victory for internet democracy, but given our posts on copyright, what's the opinion at Oxford Web?

The problem many people have with the proposed legislation, including creators of original content who have had their content "pirated", is that it is too broad and far-reaching.

The obvious aim of the legislation would be to prevent people from damaging the income streams which rightly belong to original artists - be they writers, songwriters, singers, film-makers, graphic artists, etc. 

The problem with the proposed legislation being far-reaching is that if I create original content but my website happens to host a picture from another site, there is a worry that my website could be shut down (by the US government) without proper process.

It's a difficult area, but I have big problems with America setting themselves up as World Police, Judge and Jury.  So do I believe that if SOPA is dropped, it will be a good thing.

Copyright law shows some teeth

13th January 2012
Categories: copyright

Breaking news today - as 'tv-shack' website owner Richard O'Dwyer is sentenced to extradition to the USA, not for hosting copyrighted material on his website, but for linking to copyrighted material.

Obviously if you run a website selling cheese and you host a random link to a copyrighted site, I don't think you should be worrying too much about extradition, but certainly torrent servers and users should start worrying about whether they are infringing this evolving law.

But I do think this matters to ordinary users, and we should be aware of copyright law and how it affects us.  

For example, when you run a Google image search, you should certainly think twice about copying the images you find and using them on your own website.

And if you're copying text from a competitor website, even if you make tweaks to the copy, the act of copying does in fact fall foul of the law.

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