How To Celebrate The Copyright Law Day Fair And Square

January 1st is not only the beginning of the New Year, but also, it’s The Copyright Law Day. People often start the year with resolutions for themselves. How about the resolution to be more conscious about copyrights? Here are several ideas on how to do it on this Copyright Law Day.

The History Of The Copyright

Today the copyright is associated mostly with music and movies. But it all started with the books. The creation of the printing press back in the 15th century made printing books much cheaper and faster. And since anyone could use a press and print any text they want, using competitors texts became a problem. So, copyright laws appeared to protect the authors and their works.

Stop The Piracy

The first step to respect the copyright law, is not to steal copyrighted materials. These words might sound complicated, but the main idea is quite simple: don’t download anything from illegal sources. This applies to everything: music, movies, games, software.

According to Statista data, “The United States had the highest number of media piracy site visits, with about 17.38 billion visits to piracy sites in 2018”. And that’s about 17.38 billion thefts a year. The problem is that not everybody understands when the website is illegal. Just because something is uploaded online, it doesn’t make it legal to download it for free. Be aware of it.

Ask For Permission And Give Credit

Sometimes you might want to use others’ works to illustrate your point. For example, when you write a blog post and need an illustration or a quote. To respect the copyright law, you should ask for permission of an author and give credit for it on your website. 

Some companies and authors have prepared usage guidelines for such situations. For example HubSpot guidelines is that “you can quote their content on your website, but only up to 75 words; this is to prevent duplicate content issues that would impact both their organic search rankings, and the other website's.” When you can find such guidelines, follow them. But in other situations, always ask before using other people's content.

Use Free Legal Alternatives

When you need something: an illustration for your blogpost or some background music for your video, but don’t have a budget for it, there are ways to get it for free. For example, if you need a picture, you can check Unsplash. For a royalty-free music (so YouTube won’t ban your video), you can check Bensound. The selection might be limited, but this way you don’t cross copyright laws. 

If You Enjoy It, Pay For It And Enjoy It Even More

There are many ways to enjoy various things for free. For example, you can play games on demo versions or you can listen to music on YouTube. And there’s nothing wrong with it. But if you really enjoy it, you should consider buying it. Paying for creations you like, will show your support for the author. It can also improve the possibility that author will create something similar or even better. 

HuffPost calls buying a “win-win” situation, because you not only support the artist, but also improve the experience for yourself. In the article they give an example with music records: “It will make the listening experience more rewarding. You will have a recording whose quality matches what the artist intended. You will listen closer. Just like you would savor the taste of an expensive bottle of wine, you’ll savor the sounds of that record you bought.” Once you pay for it, you start to see it as a more valuable experience and enjoy it more. 

Create Your Own

This one is quite cheerful way to celebrate the Copyright Law day - create something for others to use! When you are in need of something for your project, it feels so good to find that someone is letting you use it for free. You can do the same by creating something, and letting others use it for their projects. It can be a picture, a song or a short novel. Whatever you feel like creating.

It can be beneficial both for people who will use it and for you as well. Arnas Stuopelis, Chairman of the Board of hosting provider Hostinger, says that: “Everyone should make something creative and not work-related once in a while. The creative process is a great tool for personal growth, because people discover that failure is part of the process. At Hostinger we see failure as a step that helps us grow and it makes our results even better.”

Start your New Year by becoming a better person! Be aware of copyright law all year round. And since today is the Copyright Law day, you can make a celebration out of it. Double check the websites you download your media from. Sometimes people get into online pirating without even recognizing it. 

When you find some picture or a quote you would like to use in your own work, ask for permission and give credit for that. You can also check platforms that offer free-to-use creations. When you find yourself truly enjoying games or music, consider buying them. It will support the creator and boost your own experience. And finally, consider creating something for people to use. It can be useful for others, and it can also benefit your productivity as well.

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