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Tips on how to avoid Copyright Infringement

Earlier today, I was making a research on a fashion topic related to fashion photography and I came across an interesting fact.  We all could get sued for copyright  infringement. Some inquisitive individuals might ask me ‘Why?’  So at one point  or the other, you might have infringed the exclusive rights of an author(photographers, stylists, designers and so on).

There are so many activities we engage in that can be considered to be unlawful under intellectual property law but most individuals engage in all this activities unknowingly. Activities like  copying a designer’s work and reproducing It, using others photography without permission, creating videos with unlicensed music clips and so on. 



Copyright Infringement is the use of works protected by copyright law without permission, infringing certain rights granted to the copyright holder, such as right to reproduce, distribute,  display the protected work or to make a derivative work.

Copyright Infringement  might not seem like a crime but it can be a crime in some situations.  It best to avoid Copyright Infringement. Here are some tips:

LOOK FOR FAIR USE
There is an exception in copyright  infringement called ‘fair use’. This is applicable when a work is used for an educational or for a non-commercial purpose.

IGNORE THE URBAN MYTHS
Do not believe anybody who tells you that it’s ok to reproduce a designer’s work without permission. Also there is a myth that the company (designer or photographer) might not care, ignore that, no matter the size of the company, the business will act upon any instance of infringement.

USE THE WORK CAUTIOUSLY, IT IS NOT YOURS
The work is not yours, you did not create It, even if there is no copyright symbol on the work, It is still not yours. Before using anything that is not yours look for the license or get permission.

MAKE ENQUIRIES 
The internet has made the world smaller, so individuals have access to information and creative works. Before using a work make sure you find out the rules or terms of use, the rules or terms are often in form of a license. It is important to read the licensing terms to avoid issues and if there are no licensing terms, do well to pay a fee stipulated or make a proper attribution.

The simplest way to avoid Copyright Infringement is to always assume that the work is protected. If it can be found then there is an owner who has exclusive rights.

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