The legal myth that we’re busting in small business today is that if you find something on the internet and it’s not attributed then you can use it. What I’m talking about might be blog posts, it might be comments on blog posts, social media posts, or anywhere on the internet for that matter.
Sometimes you find PDFs of articles or just something that somebody’s written. I had a client who was actually a large university and they created a course, when I looked at their course material, much of it that was disjointed. So I plugged it into Google and found the original source material. They had found it on Google, it wasn’t attributed to anybody, they didn’t know who created it, so they thought it was fine to use it.
It’s not fine to use it. they’ve actually infringed somebody’s copyright by using it. You’re not allowed to copy something that somebody else has created, whether it’s written text or a photograph, without their written permission.Yes, copyright can expire, but it expires 70 years after the death of the author. For ancient texts, obviously copyright will have expired. But if you’re copying it from another source, for example, if somebody’s actually gone and photographed the hieroglyphs and they’ve translated them. If you’re copying from that, you could be up for copyright infringement.
So just because something doesn’t say who owns the copyright, doesn’t mean you can go and use it. My best advice to you is be original, don’t use other people’s material, use your own stuff. You’re creative, create something yourself and then you never have to worry about copyright infringement. We’ve been busting legal myths to protect your business so that you can have the lifestyle that you deserve. If you want to find more legal myths busted, go to my website, legallioness.com. My name is Cathryn Warburton and it’s been a pleasure to share with you today, my clients call me The Legal Lioness.