Monday, 4 February 2008

Copyright and on-line blogging

As a follow-up to one of my previous posts regarding on-line blogging (The ethics of on-line blogging), I contacted a copyright officer to find out what my copyright rights were. I explained my situation and the officer provided me with the provisions which my situation would most likely fall under. According to the Australian copyright act, an individual has available several provisions under “fair dealing” that enable them to make limited use of copyright material. I initially thought my blog would be covered under the provisions of “research and study”, however I was told that this was incorrect as this provision would only be applicable to educational institutions and its affiliates and not a student’s personal interests or study. Under fair dealings of the copyright act, my blog falls under “criticism and review”. Providing that my work is genuine criticism or review of another’s work, I am able to reproduce a reasonable amount of the copyright work for the purpose of criticism and review. This particular act doesn’t define a finite amount as to what is reasonable provided the user is mindful of achieving the desired purpose with minimal amount of reproduction as possible. The copyright officer advised me to approach the reproduction or republication aspect as economically as possible or to consider linking to the full work if this was an option, and finally to fully reference any copyright works.
Finally, one thing to note is that each situation or circumstance is different and the above is just a summary of the criticism and review section of the fair dealings provisions. Copyright is more complicated than imagined and each provision comes with an extensive guide that should be addressed should a matter be taken before the courts.
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Source: personal communication


J A G U A R I T O said...

Are you aware of the Creative Commons movement? I have a Creative Commons copyright license on my blog... actually, it's more "copyleft"! See: It goes beyond the whole capitalist notion of intellectual property in ways which I find very exciting, and is working to implement instead new ideas... you have the autonomy to protect and share what you wish... Anyway, I'm not doing a very good job of explaining it here. It's past midnight and I'm tired... I guess you could just read more about it on their site. Obtaining a CC license for your blog is extremely easy.. I can go through it with you tomorrow when we meet if you like :-)

J A G U A R I T O said...

Oh, I just realised your post was more about using other people's copyrighted works, not about copyrighting your own work (which is what I was talking about when I suggested Creative Commons)... I still recommend checking CC out though. Their licenses are legally recognised in courts of law across the world.