The Invisible Line Between Copyrights and Infringements

COPYRIGHT. Word cloud concept illustration.There is a very fine line between what can be used and what should not be copied from the internet.  Most people follow a general rule which is “if I can see it, I can use it”.  However, when it comes to intellectual property and copyright right protected innovations, people must know where to stop.  Moreover, the public is not aware of minor details that make up a patent, a copyright, or a trademark.

Infringe on Copyrights

Now there are several ways to look at this, and that is actually where the problem starts.  Perhaps that’s why it is important to know what trademark attorneys have to say on the matter. Take for example, YouTube.com where users are allowed to upload videos, but the question on infringement arises when we want to know whether they have the right to load anything and everything. Quite recently, a German court just ruled that is it Google’s responsibility to ensure that it verifies whether the users have the right to upload their videos and proof must be shown before they do so.

Whose Responsibility Is It Anyway?

There was a similar case against Google, which was filed by Viacom in the US, but Google won that case.  However, the issue still remains, and even if Google is absolved from the cybercrimes, where is the line that the public must not cross? With the millions of videos being uploaded every day, it will be virtually impossible to constantly monitor for infringement rights. The public must, therefore, share the responsibility of verifying whether they are loading copyright right protected videos.

Where Does the Lawsuit Land?

What about the casual visitor who posted an entire newspaper article on a blog site? The visitor’s post has put the blogger in trouble, but mind you, it was just a blog where one can air their views.  The blogger had no idea about the offending action and he was not given an opportunity to rectify it before the lawsuit landed in his lap.  The lawsuit was brought about by Las Vegas Review-Journal, a company that searches for such indiscretions and files a lawsuit immediately. This is the reason why the public must be aware of copyright and patent issues, which can have serious repercussions.

The Bottom Line

What can one do in such cases, especially when there is no advance notice given to rectify offenses? There is really no use in running around after the noose has been tightened, so that is why every website owner, even a blogger, does well to hire intellectual property and trademark attorneys.

Search Widerman Malek

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