Copyright Implications Related to Web Site Development
Copyright infringement is rife on the Internet, partly because of the ease of web site creation. Copyright laws established long ago still apply to online material. Newer laws strengthen the old rules and make it illegal to circumvent protective measures. By following a few guidelines, designers can remain within the law and still publish high quality content.
The impact of the Internet on copyright laws
The advent of the Internet has not changed the laws of copyright significantly. Rules developed to protect printed text, photographs, music, etc. apply equally on the Internet. The Internet has enabled more people to publish information than was previously practical. As a result, it is easy to infringe copyrights. Many web publishers are amateurs in the subjects about which they are writing. Often these publishers fail to realize they are breaking the law.
In 1998, the US introduced the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) (US Government, 2011). The DMCA extended provisions made in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties (UCLA, 2011). DMCA’s primary purpose is to prevent the electronic circumvention of copyright laws. DMCA also limits liability for Internet service providers and nonprofit education establishments.
The impact of copyright infringement
One impact of copyright infringement is financial. Deliberate copyright infringement often occurs for monetary reasons. As a result, an artist, musician, or author does not receive the compensation due for his or her work. It is illegal to copy or distribute protected material without express permission from the copyright holder. This is important for web site designers to be aware of when creating content.
Another area of concern is plagiarism. Although the definitions are not identical, plagiarism is usually copyright infringement. By publishing protected material without reference, the reader might...