Copyright and Fair Use

When writing a blog copyright is an issue. Also when writing a blog fair use is an element you'll need to consider. Learn about them here.

Understanding copyright

Copyright is the legal concept that works—art, writing, images, music, and more—belong to the people who create them. According to copyright law, any original content you create and record in a lasting form is your own intellectual property. This means other people can't legally copy your work and pretend it's their own. They can't make money from the things you create either.

To use, copy, or change a copyrighted work, you need permission from the person who holds the copyright. This permission is called a license. Even though everyone has the right to require that others respect their copyright and ask permission to use their work, some people and organizations choose to license their content more freely. They do this by giving their work a Creative Commons license or by placing their work in the Public Domain.

Review the infographic to get an overview of the differences between traditional copyright, Creative Commons, and Public Domain.

Traditional Copyright: Work cannot be used, adapted, copied, or published without the creator's permission. What does it apply to? All original work is protected under copyright when it's created. Creative Commons: Work may be used without permission, but only under certain circumstances. Creators set rules for the way their work is used. What does it apply to? Only work that creators have chosen to designate as Creative Commons. Public Domain: Work can be used, adapted, copied, and published, completely without restrictions, no permission needed. What does it apply to? Work published prior to 1923, work by long-dead creators, and work that creators have placed in the public domain.