Copyright regulations exist to ensure that the owners of intellectual property, such as images, text and other creative works, are protected should their work be used without their permission.
The Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988 gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, sound recordings, broadcasts, films and typographical arrangement of published editions, the right to control the ways in which their content may be used.
Although it’s designed to protect content producers against malicious use, creative professionals such as web designers need to be careful not to breach copyright.
What does the act include?
Written content and articles
Copying articles or content from third parties can constitute a copyright breach, even if the content is modified or adapted. The use of scrapers could also be constituted as a breach, as can placement of ‘dummy text’ that is used on another website, even if it is only used on a development server.
Photography and graphics
Photography and images are one of the most common areas of copyright infringement for web designers. The copyright for any image usually lies with the photographer or website that you purchased the image from. If you use stock images from sites such as iStockphoto, ensure that the licence you purchase on behalf of your client is the correct one. It can be all to easy to purchase a ‘Standard’ licence, when in fact extended rights are needed – so be sure to read up on the licence agreement before you make the purchase. (more…)