Copyright Infringement Problems

Discussion #1 – Copyright Infringement Problems

Note:  To get full credit for this assignment, you must post on three different days. This means you need to get started with this topic early in the week.

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Overview of the Problem:

Companies such as SeeMoji make money for investors and stay in business because they sell digital images.  If someone copies images and uses them without getting permission or paying for them, they are stealing a product and breaking the law.  However, many people are used to copying images from the Internet and the rules for doing this can be complex. (Details are included in the two articles I posted.)  

Have you ever copied images and used them in in a business presentation or company document?  Or, have you observed or known about anyone else doing this?  Did you observe or hear about a boss or coworker taking images off the internet to use in a brochure, menu, or advertisement of some sort?  Possibly it was even someone who was a member of a non-profit organization who was preparing a flyer for a charity event or preparing a member newsletter.  Most people who have done this are not aware of the legal ramifications of this action, so this is fairly common.  

(It is unlikely, but if you have never observed anyone doing this, you should do a quick search online and find an example described in the news to use. There are plenty of examples that get reported in newspapers.) 

Your task is to complete the following in your initial discussion posting, due 1/13:

  1. Describe what you or the person or persons you observed did that broke image fair use or copyright laws. 
  2. Write an email to yourself or the person or persons you observed breaking copyright and fair use laws regarding images and explain to them why they should not have done what they did and why they cannot use the images they found.  Obviously, you won’t be sending this email out, but you will need to post it in the discussion area as your original posting.  (Total length of posting should be about 300 words, but I will not be counting words.)
  3. After you have posted your original response, go back into the discussion and comment on at least two of the original postings made by classmates.  Comment on the advice they gave in their emails being respectful and helpful.

Start by reading the lecture and the two articles I posted on copyright infringement.  Your hypothetical email should include at least two main points that explain why what they are did was wrong and how it can get them into trouble.  Make sure you use complete sentences that are grammatically correct.) In your main points, support your arguments by citing information from the articles (not the lecture) by listing the author’s name and article title, as in “In the article titled, “Using Google Images? Think about copyright permissions,” author Lesley Ellen Harris said that ….  No formal APA references are required.

Article #1 – “Using Google Images? Think about copyright permissions”

My experience writing and editing documents in a business setting have made me appreciate how important it is to avoid copyright infringement in the workplace, especially of images.  If you are preparing a proposal or responding to a request for proposal from a customer, is it OK to use their logo on the document? Can you include a photograph of a product that you obtained from that company’s website in a document you have written? Is it OK to “pretty-up” a presentation by adding images you found on the Internet? 

Probably the most common places people go to find images are Google and other search engines. Read the following article from the Special Libraries Association describing things you need to know about the legality of copying Google and similar images before you post on Discussion #2.

Article #2 – “Copyright Fair Use and How it Works for Online Images”

This is another article that talks about copyright infringement and is intended to give you additional information about what you can and can’t do with images you find on the internet, especially in the workplace. 

Read the following article from the Social Media Examiner and learn how copyright fair use works for online images.

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