How to use copyrighted works

How to identify a copyrighted work

Works become copyrighted automatically the moment they are made. Every creator of a work automatically owns the rights to the products of its intellectual property.

The creator doesn’t need to add a ©, or to write, “all rights reserved” to protect his work. He can decide for himself who can copy his work or he can sell the intellectual property rights to another person or a corporation.

Due to these facts it doesn’t help to label a work with the name of the photographer or designer. And it doesn’t matter if you use it for commercial or non-commercial use. It’s not allowed and I recommend that you do not try it. Lawsuits are rife.

How to get permission

If you want to use a copyrighted work on your website you have the following possibilities:

  • Buy a licence.
    You can achieve a temporary or limited permission to use the copyrighted work. This is normally fast and easy. You buy the licence from a corporation that holds the intellectual property rights.
  • Negotiate with the owner.
    You can contact the owner, if possible, and negotiate the conditions of use. This is a long and complicated process. The rights holders are often more than one person and especially in the music business it’s nearly impossible to get permission.

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