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Information on Internet Copyright
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Published: 2:49 PM 4/11/2012

Editor's Note: I wanted to educate everyone a bit about copyright law and how it should be applied on the Internet. I have had several dozen songs and various articles and books copyrighted in the past under a pseudonym. When this process began, I did an extensive study of US copyright law and International copyright where it relates to American publishing.

Claims made like "we sent a notice of violation of copyright" are false, and simple claims that "we own the copyright to this video, photos, etc.," must be substantiated.

The only place a false term like this is used in on places like youtube, and other file-sharing sites. This can only occur when a submitter copies and posts a video that is owned with copyright by another user. This claim must be posted on or accompanying the material.

If a person who creates content for a specific site, for instance, like I do for www.about.com, there may be a contract that stipulates that all created content becomes the property of the company, in this case, the New York Times. According to my contract, I am compensated for these creations.

The copyright owner is the entity that "took" the video, not the person who published it. A copyright, by law, is created when the content is completed by the creator, even though no official copyright claim is submitted to the controlling entity. However, if no official copyright is obtained, the holder has a most difficult time in stopping others from using the material.

The creator can choose to relinquish this right, but must say so where the content is originally published. He can also retain copyright and give permission to another person to post the material. This must be posted on or near the content.

The US copyright law states:

Copyright Disclaimer: Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is permitted.

What this mean is that any published content may be reused for the purposes set forth above. The content must be made available at no charge.

Example: A user may watch, read or view any article, photograph, video, etc., on the UFO Casebook without paying. Also, one must NOT have to pay to be a member of the site to view the material.

I have had several run-ins with youtube about this before, and that is why some of the videos seen on this site are posted on youtube, but some are not.

Example: A couple of months ago, a man from England posted a video from a country other than his own. In the description of the video, no copyright claim was made. One of our readers, who had not seen the first video, sent me the video via email, not the youtube user's video, but the original.

I tracked back to where the original video was posted by the original videographer. There was no copyright claim made, i.e. the video was free to publish by anyone. I took the video, edited it, and posted it on youtube.

The next day, I received a post from youtube telling me that I had to remove the video from my channel because the first poster had filed a "notice of violation of copyright." This put a strike on my account, and I was warned that another such posting would result in being banned for life.

The man who filed the claim did NOT own the copyright to start with, and had no right to keep someone else from posting it. What is all of this about? Money. His video and mine had Google adsense on the videos. Remember: Clicking on an ad is not a prerequisite to viewing the content.

I took the time to make the best possible video I could of the aforementioned video. The one I posted took off with thousands of views, many more than the original poster. He was angered because of this, and filed the claim.

Subsequently, several other posters put the original video on youtube without incident. Does this seem fair? Only mine was removed.

The material posted on UFO Casebook is totally free to anyone to repost anywhere. Any and all articles, photographs and videos are free for anyone to repost anywhere on the Internet. Why? We are attempting to share our material, information about UFOs, with as many people as possible.

Any copyright claim or source link listed on the material must be reposted. That is all we ask, because that is the law. As a result of our "fair use" policy, we have contributed to many programs on the History Channel, Discovery Channel, A&E, etc., as well as many other documentaries and books. When and if a particular piece of content had a copyright holder, we provided those requesting the use of the material, all of the information available on the material, including copyright holder's information. The production company is then responsible for the use of the requested material.

I hope this helps everyone understand a bit more about copyright claims made across the Internet.

If you have any questions about copyright, please add them in the comments box below, and I will answer them.

written by B J Booth

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Fair Use Notice: This web site contains some copyrighted material whose use has not been authorized by the copyright owners. We believe that this not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.)

If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Fair Use notwithstanding, we will immediately comply with any copyright owner who wants their material removed or modified. All articles and images contained on the UFO Casebook which are not created by the UFO Casebook are attributed to the original owner/creator.

The opinions and viewpoints expressed on the UFO Casebook articles are not necessarily those of the UFO Casebook owner, webmaster, or staff members.
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