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Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Quick Word on Public Domain

Wiki Definition:

Works are in the public domain if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all, if the intellectual property rights have expired,[1] and/or if the intellectual property rights are forfeited.[2] Examples include the English language, the formulae of Newtonian physics, as well as the works of Shakespeare and the patents over powered flight.[1]

In a general context public domain may refer to ideas, information and works that are "publicly available", but in the context of intellectual property law, which includes copyright, patents and trademarks, public domain refers to works, ideas, and information which are intangible to private ownership and/or which are available for use by members of the public.[2]

So, a copy of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony isn't owned by anyone any more, but the recordings belong to the various artists. New arrangments of the sheet music belong to the composers, and so on.

Somethings published on the internet can be used under Fair Use Laws. Some artists and writers make their work freely available for download or use with accreditation, usually for non-profit works.

You can't grab someone's blog post and print it in your magazine, then sell the magazine, and call that Fair Use.

Not everyone seems to understand this concept, but it's all over Twitter!

And there's a huge backlash.

It's even in Face Book.

Lesson learned?
1- If it's not yours ask permission before you use the work.
2- Artists do this for money, pay the writers.
3- Your nasty e-mails will be on the internet, watch what you say.
4- All authors have connections. You won't get away with this.

Cook Source, your days of plagiarizing are numbered. Close the magazine, and hire a lawyer.


  1. Asking permission never hurts. Sometimes the author or artist may be so flattered they would let you use the picture or whatever for free or just for the publicity. If not then how hard is it to pay? It's a whole lot cheaper than a lawsuit.

  2. That's what I was thinking. The author asked for a reasonable sum. Paying an author and sending out an apology is going to be a lot cheaper than what comes next.

    Yesterday people were skimming the back issues, and that one author wasn't the only one stolen from. It's a mess. The editors are in trouble, but I suspect they'll just uproot and set up shop somewhere else. They're scammers, plain and simple.