Whether you are a full-time creator or freelancer involved with intellectual work of one type or the other, your work is automatically governed by clauses defining the copyright law.You need not be a graduate in law or read through lot of law books to understand what copyright is all about. First of all, you have to be sure about your niche,like architect, academician, animator, writer, visual artist, producer, programmer, musician, web designer, songwriter etcetera. Then you have to understand about the copyright laws applicable for your niche as a freelancer in that area.
If you are impressed by someone’s work and you want to produce a similar work, you need to understand the difference between what it means to be inspired and what it means to be copying and modifying. If you are using a picture, making slight tweaks to the picture and using it, it is still a copyright issue, unless the picture has been authorized for such uses per fair use clauses in the copyright law.
- Your work is automatically copyrighted to you
- An idea is something that is common to all and all you can liable to own is the way in which you express your idea
- If you are working for hire abiding by a contract the work is automatically copyrighted to the company
- Even if you are a freelancer, unless you have agreed to sell your work, images, design or idea, the work is actually copyrighted to you
- When someone or you use someone else’s work without applicable permissions to use it, then it is infringement
- When you are registering for a copyright, you will be paying a small fee; however, the advantage for having registered your work is really massive
- Though not required when you use the copyright symbol, it is easy to let someone know that you own something
- There are several old works that become outdated and are not covered by copyright law and it is considered as being useful to the public and this is something that can be used by everyone.
- Author credit is a fair use approach; however, some materials prohibit use of any kind including with author credits. It is better to get direct permission from the concerned author.
Copyright laws are applicable for almost every kind of freelancer work like websites, online materials, sound recordings, song, music and lyrics, screenplay, scripts, artwork, designs, photo, image, picture, film, audio-visual works, computer programs, technical drawings, book, written work, poetry etcetera.
If you are a web developer, copyrights are applicable to stock images that you make use of for your graphics in websites. The program that has been used to develop the different templates and designs for readymade websites are governed by copyright law.
If you are an online content writer, online materials of every type is automatically governed by copyright law. You can refer the idea and theme from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License and many other places; however, you cannot copy the content word by word, you need to use your own forms of expression.
Similar clauses are applicable for everything like using sound recordings, songs, music and lyrics, screenplay, scripts, artwork, designs, photo, image, picture, film, audio-visual works, computer programs, technical drawings, book, written work, poetry etcetera with or without modification for every field you are involved in.