Things to know about using copyrighted material
When giving presentations, it’s tempting to just put in any text or photo you can grab off the internet. It’s best to learn a little about the rights of the owner.
As soon as a person creates a work, it holds a copyright. No longer do you need to put the little © on it. The U.S. Copyright Office governs this. To make decisions easier they defaulted to the time of creation. However, just putting a work out does not stop less-than-pro’s from using it. The little © carries a lot more weight in court, you can still register it. It costs a couple hundred bucks.
Copying text has bitten many legit people – yes, politicians and professors, so this one is pretty obvious. It’s pretty easy get a search engine to find where that phrase has been used.
Photos are a bit harder to research. But don’t think you can copy/paste anything on Instagram, Google Images or other sites. You will probably get away with it and most creators don’t follow (or care) about their photos. But I can tell you that professional sites like Getty and those that sell pictures care.
Turn out there is actually a code on every photo – beyond meta-data. Big companies have staff to find violators of their copyrights. (Magazines, books) that use their images.
The recent revision of the copyright law gave implicit permission to the educational use of photos as long as it is a small part of the whole and you are not selling it. You don’t have to ask the owner, nor attribute them. So if you are educating an audience, you might be in the clear. READ the act yourself and talk to your legal.
So, get educated and learn what you can do to make an interesting talk. If you are speaking about Alaska you better have a photo of a grizzly bear!
Send us a comment if you want to continue the discussion.