Re: Copyright

I have a question in regards to copyright.

Occasionally as I am going through some of the resources shared during challenges or in other sections of community sharing, and I see stuff that I've seen copyright other places.

Now, it is possible the same person who created it might have decided to share it here as well, but either way I'm worried that people might reuse the work (especially when the OP says they can) and risk copyright infringement.

I wouldn't want to call anyone out publicly, but I wonder if there is a way to "report" potential copyright issues so someone could do due diligence.

I'm trying to weigh the discomfort of calling anyone out with the risk of someone reusing stuff and getting sued. :/

4 Replies
Christy Tucker

If the OP says they can reuse it, then there's probably not a problem. It would be simpler if people explicitly used a Creative Commons license to make it clear what kinds of reuse is allowed. Even without a CC license though, an informal note of "feel free to use this yourself" is probably enough to avoid legal issues.

If you're concerned, the best option would be to report it to the person you think holds the copyright. They're the only ones with any authority to take action if needed. The original creator can file a DMCA notice if necessary. I would expect that situations where a DMCA would be warranted would be very rare though, especially in a community like this where people share resources with the intention of other people using them.

Phil Mayor

There is a responsibility for the person sharing the file to ensure they have the permission to share it. the person downloading the file should ensure that they are able to use it.

If I downloaded a file to use i would ensure that the imagery used within the project was licensed, if I was unsure I would replace or contact the original creator.

Dave Ferguson

I used to lurk on an intellectual-property site, where I learned to use IANAL ("I am not a lawyer"). So take this as a layperson's summary:

In the U.S., any fixed expression of an original thought is protected by copyright from the moment it's fixed (saved, printed, recorded, whatever). It hasn't been necessary to include the "Copyright 2016 Jane Doe" for decades, though it doesn't hurt. Nor it is required to register the copyright with the Copyright Office at the Library of Congress, although if you do, it helps increase the remedies available to you.

Unless the creator of the work has explicitly placed it in the public domain, it's not.  On the other hand, works by the U.S. government do not enjoy copyright (the Library of Congress archives and the image archives of government agencies are good sources for certain types of images).

Here's an article by attorney Rich Stim on the four factors related to "fair use" in the U.S.  At the end, he touches on disclaimers and on acknowledgment (the latter, usually, is not enough to protect you from a claim of infringement).: