Terms of Use

Site Copyright© Information

Source: copyright.gov
Source: creativecommons.org/about

What is copyright?
Copyright is the exclusive right to control reproduction and commercial exploitation of your creative work. Copyright protects any kind of artwork, including illustrations, photographs and graphic design. Except under certain circumstances, you own the copyright in your work at the moment you create it in a “fixed” form of “expression.” A fixed form of expression is any tangible medium that can be perceived by humans, including traditional forms—such as paintings, sculptures, writings—and new forms that require a machine to perceive (e.g., GIF files, CDs, websites).

Copyright Infringement
Copyright infringement happens whenever someone makes copies or commercially exploits a work without the copyright owner's permission. The second work must actually be copied from the first work—if you just happen to create a very similar work independently, that is not infringement. The problems arise when one artist uses another artist's work as reference. To be infringing, the second artist's works need not be identical. The standard for infringement is whether the second work is “substantially similar” to the original work. (Contrary to popular belief, there is no “20 percent rule,” i.e., you cannot escape infringement by changing something by 20 percent. Infringement is not a mathematical calculation.)

“Substantially similar” means that an average person viewing the two works would recognize that the “artistic expression” in one was copied from the other. The focus on “artistic expression” is meant to distinguish between illegal copying, which is infringement, and being inspired by someone else's work, which is not illegal. “Artistic expression” means the specific artistic choices and details that go into a work, such as composition, rendering and colors, but not general concepts such as subject matter or similar artistic style. However, courts often describe infringing works as having the same “look and feel” as the originals. Sometimes work depicting similar content in the same unique artistic style are held infringing, even if specific details are different.

Penalty & Perjury
Any person(s) or entity involved in the unauthorized use of a copyrighted work, from the initial copying through publication and distribution, is liable for infringement up to, but not limited to, $60,000 for any ad/agency's net revenue earned from infringement, not exlcuding further use of the infringing ads.

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