Importance of Copyright

As a practitioner of journalism and media it is incredibly important not to underestimate the importance of copyright and how much it plays a massive part within the industries. If I for example used someone else’s footage for a video I was making could cause offence as I haven’t asked and gained permission from the individual, it belongs to. This would be breach of using someone else’s products. Copyright clearance checks need to be done if I wanted to use a piece of music or footage. If this didn’t happen the owner of this could potentially sue me for a lot of money. This would cause me financial issues and damage my professional status. If I as a practitioner crossed the copyright breach, then my reputation could be damaged beyond repair and this would affect my career and trustworthiness. People would be less inclined to provide things I require in the future.

Copyright is put in place so individuals can protect what is rightfully there’s, this prevents others from taking the work and passing it off as there own. First of all, this would be cheating and wouldn’t give the original creator any accreditation. Copyright is a type of insurance as if someone did take the work of someone then they have the right to claim compensation, this should be a great incentive for others to not steal anyone’s work. It is ok to use parts of other peoples work if you have the right permission and paperwork filled in, this means that you then can’t be sued and it makes yourself appear more professional. For instance, if I didn’t know the definition of something I could copy it straight from the internet as I would reference it in the proper ways. This means that the marker would know that it has been taken from a secondary source.

There are many different things that can be protected by copyright, therefore means I will have to consider these when practising my own work. For instance, some of these consist of:

  • Literary works, this could be anything from blog posts, newspaper articles, books and computer programs. 1
  • “Musical works, this could Include musical notations, song lyrics, tunes.”1
  • “Dramatic works, for instance, plays, screenplays, and TV scripts.” 1
  • “Choreographic works – Includes dances, ballets, and mime performances”.1
  • “Artistic, graphic, and sculptural works – Includes paintings, drawings, photographs, and digital illustrations.” 1
  • “Motion pictures and other audiovisual works – Includes movies, live webcasts that are being saved, slideshows, and video podcasts.” 1
  • “Sound recordings” 1
  • “broadcasts” 1

From my own personal experience, I know that when studying my previous course, I had someone claiming what they had submitted was there own when in fact it was actually mine. I felt the effects and was really Frightening and upsetting to know that someone would actually have to audacity to put my education at risk so they could have an easy ride and not do the work themselves. It was one of my essays that was copied, I was shocked to find out that who was supposed to be a fellow class member and friend would do such a thing. This was a very serious issue and it put me under unnecessary stress, we could have both been disqualified. In the end he owned up and was therefore allowed another chance to resubmit that piece of work but his own version. After this incident happened, I was so unsure about who to trust. I stopped helping others as much and didn’t leave things up on the computer screen. I also looked at my online platforms where I had posted work delete a lot of it so that I knew my work was safer from those who try and pass it off as there own.

From having had my work plagiarised and taken without permissions, I have learned multiple ways to minimalise the risks of my work been taken.

  • Watermarks are a good thing to have, I actually used this on my treatment for a live client at college as then no one else could take credit for it.
  • Put passwords on work documents so that people can’t access my work without knowing the password.
  • Keep evidence to show that it was my work – ie research
  • And have a signed agreement between who you share the work with.

1http://www.newmediarights.org/business_models/artist/what_types_things_are_protected_copyright

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