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If you are starting a business and are working to build and promote it, there are some important things to know about website copyright laws for online business.
If you are uncertain about where to start here are some tips and tricks to get you started.
Table of Contents
What Does Website Copyright Laws Protect
If you're thinking about how to use a watermark to protect your content from copyright infringement, you have to remember that the purpose is not to protect your content from someone else's eyes. In fact, it's the other way around.
If a company or individual uses an image on its own web page without a watermark, it is likely to find itself in court, defending copyright infringement. A watermark helps that company or individual to stay within the law.
A watermark is usually a small icon that is printed on web pages. The icon serves to identify the creator of the image. The icon can be the company's logo or the owner's name.
The creator's name typically appears underneath the image or on the same page, in some cases. Because it is so small, it is often difficult for a person to tell who is responsible for a particular image.
While it would not be difficult to remove a watermark and avoid a copyright infringement suit, doing so could prove difficult, if not impossible. For one thing, most people don't know where to start.
It can be hard to track down a single person that owns an image or to even find an image at all. Even if a person finds an original, clear-cut example of a copyright violation, he or she may not have enough information to sue the infringer.
That's why it's always best to take legal action if copyright is being violated. Besides providing a strong legal argument for your lawsuit, a watermark also provides a more personalized sense of protection. Most companies and individuals do not realize that a watermark is their personal property. It is often difficult to have that property taken away or destroyed in a court of law.
A watermark also provides a legal defense for a company or individual. If a copyright infringement is unintentional, the company or individual may be found liable for nothing more than some generic damages. However, if the copyright is intentional, the case could end up being much more complicated.
How a Watermark Can Protect You
A watermark can be very useful as a protection strategy when working with images on the Internet. The key is knowing how to use it properly. As a general rule, you should avoid using the watermark if your target audience is children. They are likely to be more apt to appreciate the clear identity of the creator and less likely to be bothered by the watermark.
Even if it is common sense, some people are more likely to think that an image that belongs to them is theirs. If you have a picture of your cat and an identical one on an adult website, you probably don't want to use that image as a watermark. On the other hand, if you have a picture of a dog on a child's site, you might want to use the watermark. You can be creative with the watermark as long as a result looks reasonable. Adding a watermark to your videos and photos will save you a lot of issues in the future.
Checking for Ownership
You will want to check with each person creating the watermark if they actually own the image. In many cases, the copyright owner for the photo will not allow you to use the image. If this is the case, you should consider hiring a copyright attorney to help you figure out your best course of action.
Because the legal system can be very complex, it's always a good idea to consult with someone who has experience in this area. An attorney or even a good legal research service can provide you with an honest legal opinion based on their extensive knowledge of copyright law.
As always, you can find the answers to these questions on the Internet. You can also use watermarks as a way to protect your content. If you are doing any kind of advertising, be sure to include the watermark.
About the Author: Samantha Higgins is a professional writer with a passion for research, observation, and innovation. She is nurturing a growing family of twin boys in Portland, Oregon with her husband. She loves kayaking and reading creative non-fiction.