Tuesday, 23 March 2010

copyright laws in terms of interactive media essay

What is Copyright

Copyright is a term that helps a designer or publisher of a specific type of material used for their work or self portfolio, to stop others from stealing their rights of that particular piece of work. Copyright is printed in a small print at the lower bottom of a webpage or it is seen normally in small print at the bottom of posters or other material. Copyright law gives the owner of the copyright the right to prevent others, from stealing or taking parts of their work, this is called restricted acts.

Who owns copyright?

The rule is, the true owner to copyright is the designer or person who produced the piece of work. For example if I was to take a photo of the Queen of England’s palace, then I would have copyright over that image, or if Joe Blog’s down the road was to draw a picture of the Queens palace then he would have full copyright over that drawing.

One important exception to this is when an employee creates a piece of work in the course of their employment, in which case the copyright owner will be the employer.

Websites in copyright

When viewing a website it is very open to all, this means that anybody can take your image and even sell it on their own site. To avoid this problem it is best to add the copyright notice at the bottom of your website to tell your visitors that this is a restricted site on copyright. You can add water marks on your images of your company logo, this will stop users from copying your images due to the transparent water mark. Water marks can be removed but they contain a lot of time and the image will never be the same.

Another way is to add Copyright messages in your CSS sheets, or html files, to alert the visitor.

Disallowed Acts

Many people every day break the copyright law and some do not even know they are doing it, partially because they have not been educated in this subject,

In order to have broken the copyright law, a user must have carried out a restricted act with somebody else’s work that contains copyright.

These acts contain copying another persons work directly from the internet,

Adapting or amending others work, playing others work to the public, selling others work to the public, Broadcasting others work and downloading copyrighted material.

Allowed Acts

Fair dealing is a term used to describe acts which are permitted without infringing the work, these acts are

Private and research study purposes.

Copies or lending for educational purposes.

Criticism and news reporting.

Incidental inclusion.

Copies and lending by librarians.

Acts for the purposes of royal commissions, statutory enquiries, judicial proceedings and parliamentary purposes.

Recording of broadcasts for the purposes of listening to or viewing at a more convenient time, this is known as time shifting.

Producing a back up copy for personal use of a computer program.

Playing sound recording for a non profit making organisation, club or society.

(Profit making organisations and individuals should obtain a license from PRS for Music.)

Joint Ownership of Copyright

This basically means if you are in a group where there is more then one of you, and you are all working on the same project, the finished outcome, may not be copyright to just you. As a team effort Joint ownership means you need to have a piece of work that has been produced by somebody another then yourself. ( However if it is a design company then this does not count because the employer has the full rights of all the work, this rule will apply if you and a friend, design a poster for your band.

How do I get permission for Copyright

To get permission for copyright material, it is simple all you have to do is ASK, the person. They may reply and except your request. If for some reason you cannot find the artist who created that particular work then it is possible to do a search check on the Internet using the copyright office. If the person replies with negative feedback it is best to stay away in case they take legal action. However if your feedback is positive make sure you always keep any emails or letters from your artist incase of any possible future problems.

Free Material

If the artist refuses your request there are a lot of websites these days which do let you use free stock images that will more then likely contain the file you are searching for.

So really theirs no need to steal images from other peoples work, when the internet is giving away free stuff!.

Most of these free sites will ask you, that if you take one of our images will would like you in favour to leave our logo at the bottom of your site, or leave a link referring back to their home page for others to view. For a free image they are not asking for allot, plus it saves you time making a complex graphic.

Free material does not just apply with images but also audio, and video too.

When Rights Occur

You automatically achieve copyright by creating a piece of work your work should be classed as an individual piece, (skill of creation)

Copyright is gave to those who spend there time and effort on a piece of work which they whish to share but not have stolen. For example, if you design a logo about cars that would not be copyright because anybody can design a logo for cars, but the case is this, if you design a logo for a car company and Joe Blog’s down the road copies your concept, for their idea then that is classed as copyright. , enough to be covered, but a creation, such as a logo, that combines these elements may be classed as theft (copyright).

Moral Rights

Moral Rights are split up into four different categories, these are as follows.

The right to be identified as the author or director of a work e.g. when copies are issued to the public this is often known as partiality right.

The right to object to derogatory treatment, reputation of a person of work or film which amounts to distortion or mutilation or is otherwise damaging to the author and directors reputation and even career.

The right to privacy of certain photographs and films.

The right to object to false attribution of a work.

Unlike copyright Moral Rights cannot be sold.

Paternal Rights.

The author of a musical, film, or the director of a copyrighted film has the overall right to be identified as the author of the work.

This right is normally confirmed in writing by a small statement or email sent from the author to the person dealing with the copyright content.


People often wonder what a Patent is. A patent protects anything new you have invented. In order to have a patent your design must be new, and be cable of being used in some kind of industry. I at cannot be obvious to someone with knowledge and experience. They cover the rights on how things work, how they do it, what they are made of. They stop people from importing your idea to other countries. A patent gives you the full rights of anybody stealing your idea without asking any permission first.

If you were to create the new ‘’FaceBook’’ but better features, then you would need a Patent to prevent anybody else from stealing your ideas, also you would need to ask FaceBook first if you decide on using any of there ideas.

FaceBook is the type of creation that would have a Patent.

Design Rights

A designer should produce a concept which is unique to any other design they are producing. To achieve this they use the design process to figure out which idea fits best for the final outcome. A different design is made up of good formal elements and esthetical looks. Overall the owner of the design is the designer, in which case the rights belong to the employer if you are employed to make the design.

Intellectual Property Rights

IP is divided into two categories: Industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source; and Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical

Works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs.

The most common types of intellectual properties rights are as followed,

Copyrights, trademarks, patents industrial design rights and trade secrets

Fair Use and Public Domain

Fair use is the term for legal concept which would allow any copyrighted works to be copied to a limited extent for the purpose of parody satire, and social commentary. So basically the owner may let them use their image if he/she places a link on there site or they may be only allowed to edit only certain parts of the material. There are some artists who like to share there work and make it Public Domain, this is a group of works, where there are no restrictions so basically the public can use it as they please.

Creative Commons

Is a website designed for people who whish to share or show there work.

Here is a link to some work I produced then I gave my work some fair use rights, which allowed the visitor to be able to use my work in strict ways, which I requested.

This is the link to my work, http://wwwinteractivemediastudent-leeb.blogspot.com/2010/03/geometric-design-by-lee-is-licensed.html

This is the link to my right s http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/uk/

The age of Copyright.

In the UK, the copyright laws work differently than those, in the united states, and other countries. The general rule of concerning copyright for media work is that the copyright expires 70 years after the death of the writer or creator of the work, so if a writer Produced a piece of work in 1940 and died in 2000 then their work will not become public domain until 2070. However if their book is republished under new authors, then the original cover will not be in the public domain until 70 years after the republished authors death.

Copyright In Sound Recording

Copyright expires 50 years from the start date it was made. Or if it was published 50 years from the publication. However if that track was played to the public in a documentary, broadcast, or live show, then the track becomes copyright 50years after the last public showing.

How Do you find Public domain material.

Public material is easy to find, you just have to search in the right areas for it. An example of a public domain location would be, a website hosted on the internet that provide you with free images. Some websites may request you to leave feedback on the users profile or they may ask you to ask permission before downloading that specific content. You also might have a choice where you are aloud a photo but you have to display their logo in the corner of your website or poster as part of their advertisement.

The safest and original way to get hold of a public domain is to produce the image your self. Most of the time the image will only take a few minutes and that few minutes can save you a few quid in court.


A Trademark is a sign or logo that is different from any other business.

It can distinguish your goods and services from your competitors.

A Trademark can be for example just a word , logo, or a combination of both.

Owner of a Trademark

The owner of a registered trademark can commence legal proceedings for trademark infringement, so basically if you copyright there material they can take legal action, for stealing or amending their Trade Mark.

Free copy Right Material

When looking for free copy right material my first website was FreeFoto.com a website designed to give you any photo you ask for free.

“All the site requested was these few rules,
“FreeFoto.com provides its images under three available licensing options.
1) ANYONE, by which we mean commercial and non-commercial alike, can use FreeFoto.com images in an online setting, providing they provide attribution to the image and a link back to FreeFoto.com (either the image or the main site). This license allows blogs, social networking sites and use in emails, just to name a few, providing they provide the required attribution, this includes sites that pay people to write, carry advertising or are selling and promoting products. The only requirement the attribution” and link back.”

Creative Commons
“The creative commons site for creative people who wish to copyright their work but put it a public domain for others to view and use”.


“A website for free images”



· “Flickr.com allows you to share, store, search, and sort your photos. There are always plenty of images available for you to use. Flickr is free, though you will have to register if you want to upload and edit your own images. The photographers establish the terms, so read the permissions carefully. If you use someone else’s Flickr image, it’s always in good taste to link back to its source”.


· “Bigfoto.com offers pictures from around the world, including America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Pacific. Each main category has subcategories, for instance “aviation,” which allows you to choose from pictures in a certain theme “.

· “Fotogenika.net has photos for free download for personal, educational, and nonprofit use. However, you cannot use them commercially, sell them, or claim authorship. The site is well organized, and it includes categories such as architecture, animals, people, and textures. “

· “FreeDigitalPhotos.net has over 2000 free images that you can use in commercial and noncommercial work. You are not allowed to sell, redistribute, or claim these “

· FreePhotosBank.com “allows users to have non-exclusive, non-transferable license to images. You can search for photos, see which photos are the most popular, and which ones have the highest ratings or the most downloads.”

· FreeMediaGoo.com has a large collection of images, audio, textures, and other visual mediums that you can use for free with some restrictions. You do not even have to credit the images. The site also features some amazing digital images if you are looking for something different.

· “MorgueFile.com offers stock photographs in high resolution digital. With over 55,000 images, divided into several categories, they are sure to have something you can use. The thumbnails are small, but your search results display quickly, and the photos are of top quality.”

· “PhotoRogue.com offers a different concept. If you cannot find what you need, you can send a request. The service is free and uses volunteer photographers. If you like, you can also sign up for an RSS feed that will let you know when new images become available. “

· “SXC.hu offers high quality images taken around the world by amateur photographers. If you have an interest in photography, you can even submit your own pictures. There are various searching options and over 100,000 images. The photographers establish the terms, so read the fine print, but most pictures can be reused immediately. “

· “Picsearch.com is another option for those who are not sure exactly what they are seeking. Picseach is a search engine that crawls the web and indexes images. However, make sure that you see the site’s licensing terms or contact the copyright holder before you download pictures. You can edit your search by animation, colour, or size to find exactly what you need. “


Audio Micro
“Audio Micro is a revolutionary collection of user-generated micro stock music, sound effects, production music, production elements and music cues. Finally, high quality audio content is available at unbelievable prices with no hidden costs or fees.”

“Search for, preview and download royalty free sound effects for immediate use in your multimedia project. These high quality royalty free sound effects are hand-picked from only the best sound designers.”

“Is the best platform to find and share free sound effects and loops- legally. It is a collection of original sounds made or recorded by its users, and not songs or sound FX found on commercial libraries or sample CD’s.”

“FindSounds.com is a free site for finding sound effects and musical instrument samples on the Web. It is a Web search engine, like Google and AltaVista, but with a focus on sounds. It provides powerful features, yet is simple and easy to use, and suitable for all ages.”

“The Freesound Project aims to create a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, … released under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus License. The Freesound Project provides new and interesting ways of accessing these samples, allowing users to browse the sounds in new ways using keywords, a “sounds-like” type of browsing and download sounds to and from the database, under the same creative commons license.”
“Acoustica has a great database and will help you find that ever so elusive sound effect!
Alc Ljudprod have assembled their sound effects in MP3 format and they are free to download and use.”
“Event sounds lets you download Wavs so you can change the sounds your computer makes such as start up sounds, mail sounds, shut down sounds, error sounds, movie sounds and TV sounds.”

After finding websites that contain free content of non copyright, I have made a report on the cost of using copyright material.
The table shows the following.
Written work















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