Why Is it Important to Follow Copyright Rules?

By Beth Williams

Copyright rules are essential to those who create original work. It protects their creations from being used without their permission or in ways that they do not agree to. These rules have been set in place by the U.S. Constitution, and many other countries have their own copyright laws as well.

Why The Rules Are In Place

Copyright laws were created to protect the creative works of individuals. These laws especially come up in the entertainment industry, because no one wants someone else to make money off of his work. Copyright laws protect works whether they are published or not.

Who The Rules Protect

Copyright rules protect anyone who creates something tangible. The rules protect anything from music and poetry to computer software. A big reason these rules are important, is that without such protection, people would have little incentive to create new music, write books, paint portraits, etc.

What Are The Consequences?

If the originator of the work decides to sue you for copyright infringement, you can face hefty fines. The amount would depend on how popular the original work was, if you made money off of the copyrighted material, and if the violation was intentional.

How to Copyright Something

Your work is copyrighted the moment you create it. However, there are ways to make the copyright more sustainable. One way is to register your work. You can do this by submitting an application, fee and copy of the work to be registered to the copyright office.

Fair Use

You are allowed to use portions of copyrighted works for certain purposes, such as in an academic setting, for reviews of movies or for news reporting.

About the Author

Beth Williams is a 2008 graduate of Otterbein College with a degree in Broadcast Communications and minors in Journalism Writing, Public Relations and Speech Communication. While in college she wrote for the school newspaper the Tan & Cardinal and is currently trying her hand at freelance writing.