Does your site infringe on Copyrights

Does your site or blog infringe on Copyrights? Take the Quiz
The answers to the following questions will help you determine this.
1.) Do you know where the images, music or other content posted on your website / blog originally came from?
2.) Do you know who the original artist, writer, composer or sequencer is ?
3.) Is the artist, composer  or sequencer given credit on your site?
4.) Do you give credit for any images used that are not your own, on the pages where the work is used as many linkware artists ask?  (See: What is so bad about credit pages?
5.) If you offer images and music on your site for download, is the work your own?
6.) If the work being offered to others on your site is NOT YOUR OWN, are you offering it with the permission of the person that originally created it?
7.) If you have created images for your site, with the aid of other images, do you know where those other images really came from and know for sure if they can legally be used in your work?
8.) If you know where the images came from, have you gotten permission from the original creator before altering them.
9.) Are all the images, content and midis being used by you, housed on your own site? In other words are you using only your own bandwidth? ( See What is bandwidth and what is meant by Bandwidth theft ? )
10.) If you are a graphic designer who uses graphic aids such as clipart,  tubes, brushes and dingbats in your creations, have you made certain that the clipart,  tubes, brushes and dingbats contain only original material originally created by the person that is offering these aids? (not someone Else's clipart or scans from books, calendars, or greeting cards etc). 

If any of your answers to the questions listed above were NO. Then your site is probably infringing on some one's copyrights.

Collection sites and disclaimers
" I have collected these images or this music from all over the web for your enjoyment and I believe all to be public domain. If you find your copyrighted work here and wish it removed just E-mail me, and I will do so." 
Statements such as this should give you a clue, that
1.) the webmaster, did not create the images or music,
2.) does not know who did, or
3.) whether the work is indeed public domain or not. 
Contrary to popular belief, very little on the net is public domain.
The sites that gathered other people's creative work from all over the web and redistribute it are the vultures of the internet. They feed on the creativity and generosity of our artists, musicians, sequencers and Java scriptors. They have nothing original or creative to offer themselves, so they visit our sites and abuse our kindness, by stealing our work and then claiming it is public domain. This cheats not only the original creator but those that are duped into the lie, which often ends up getting the unaware user in trouble when the are caught with stolen material.
TAKING RESPONSIBILITY for your own site:
Do not redistribute what you did not create. 
Giving away something you did not create yourself, have permission to redistribute or without knowing where it came from is irresponsible and dishonest. Pleading ignorance of anything has always been a lame excuse, and statements such as the one above do not absolve the guilty parties. It is not fair to ask an artist, designer, or musician to come find their work/content on such sites before it will be respected. The problem these types of sites create does not go away when the work is removed. How many others that visited such a collection site, will be lead to believe that the work is public domain before the work is removed, and will download it and themselves give it away in their own collections. When someone uses material from such a site, and the work turns out to be copyrighted, then the person that downloaded it is just as guilty of copyright infringement as the site that offered it to them. 

Artists are not the only ones that suffer from the theft of online content. Artists, poets, writers, musicians, programs, genealogists and even general webmasters are at risk of copyright abuse if someone fancies what they have posted on their website or blog. It's the little red hen syndrome, some want all the glory,  but none of the hard work that goes with it and when the you know what hits the fan you don't want to be caught in the middle of it.

The best way to protect yourself is to make yourself aware, educate others when you can and take responsibility for what you choose to put on your own web pages. If you are in need of web images or sets for your website, or digital stamps for your paper crafts, then make it a habit to obtain such material only from the sites of original creators. Be sure to read and follow their terms of use. 

Please copy my  copyright logo and post it to your own website or blog with a link back to my site so others can visit this page and take the quiz. If you have any problems linking to my site, email me and I will help you with the code.


Back to Copyright Information, Editorials and similar material:

Note: Although this copyright awareness campaign was first started in 1999 on another server when I was part of the pixel artist community, it is unfortunately still relevant in 2011 and now includes digital stamp designers.
Chris Stern / CS Designs © Copyright All Rights Reserved 1997/1998/1999/2010
The content on this site is for your viewing pleasure only 
and may not be download, spindled, mutilated or used without my written permission.