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All published works should carry copyright information. If licensed, the user/client needs to be particularly careful that the agreement is with the owner of the copyright. If not, the liabilities are theirs, as well as the plagiarist. The more all participants understand copyrights, the greater the protection that proprietary content will not be abused, either by using others’ work without permission or by having assets copyied and used by others. Either way is illegal theft of intellectual property. If there is a great potential profit, then the user must be especially careful jot have all permissions secured. It is the responsibility of every publisher to perpetuate a culture of respect and honoring copyrights. Wherever there is money to be made by use of the concept or work of a creative originator, permission and compensation need to be arranged. The law is explicit that:

> permission should be obtained for copyrighted material (whole or part), unless covered by the Fair Use Clause (below), and given appropriate credits, when:

copied for distribution, such as copying from magazines or books, and then resubmitting to an audience.

scanned from original image collections and sources.

downloaded or copied from the internet—such as portions of copyright protected websites. Free copying and then reusing is a dangerous practice that can have unpleasant legal consequences. It is much cheaper to obtain permission.

reproduced of a photograph or a person or nonpublic location.

referenced by an artist or illustrator. If the derivative work demonstrates an obvious relationship to the original, as judge by a layperson.

presented in concept materials—such as proposals, presentations, or slide shows, particularly applicable to demonstration design, sales materials, or promotional projects.

duplicated—such as in printing, on CDs, or broadcast on the web. When an image or sound has increased exposure, someone benefits. The most appropriate to benefit is the creator. The more images or sounds are reproduced, the larger the reach, and potential compensation.

> permission does not need to be obtained when under the “fair use” clause (many are even protected by copyrights of their own) which allows reproduction for:
criticism or comments
news reporting and journalism
teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use)
scholarship or research
nonprofit publication
short segment quotations (small percentage of original).

Sadly most creatives are not versed in the nuances of rights and uses. When in doubt, always check with an attorney. Also, please see Ways for considerations of self-protection. Happy creating with eyes wide open! —Eleanor Medier, publisher, Sim Street Journal

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Copyright Clarity: Artists Informed

Definitions determine understanding.

Ownership governs rights.

* Excerpted from Digital Design Business Practices, a classic resource, compiled from seven organizations, eight publications, and reviewed by intellectual property attorneys. It quotes the law and puts it in a form artists can understand.

If reproducing, please include:
© Copyright 1992, 1995, 2001, 2008, 2014, Liane Sebastian, Digital Design Business Practices.

Thank you and I hope that you find this helpful, Eleanor Medier, publisher.

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Comments and opinions are also encouraged.

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Sim Street Journal explores the relevance of virtual to real commerce and culture.






The Sim Street Journal explores the relevance of second to first life.
© 2014 by Eleanor Medier, Sim Street Journal. Articles cannot be reprinted without permission.