Creating Video

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factfile4.2 Images, ideas, designs and the law



BrandYou are probably already aware of the tough measures that record companies have taken in recent years to prevent anyone downloading free copies of their music from the Internet. You may also know that people who are caught selling bootleg copies of videos are routinely prosecuted and fined. But did you know that these laws of copyright also extend to printed and electronic texts and images, as well as software?

Some schools have online access to archives of copyright free images like SCRAN, so always check with your teacher:

If you plan to use images taken from the internet in your work, you must make sure that they are copyright free, or ask permission from the copyright owner – most websites have copyright information that you should check.

Royalty Free

A common mistake is to think that royalty-free means something can be used free-of charge. Royalty-free does not mean you can use it without having to pay for it. Royalty-free material can be used for profit without having to pay royalties every single time the material is used. In most cases the right to use the asset is usually bought for a one-off fee. This material is not public domain, and is still owned by the creator of the image or other media. Many online stock image libraries are royalty-free.

Public domain

Public domain materials are not owned or controlled by anyone. They are, basically,"public property". Under copyright law, most original works are covered by copyright from the time of their creation for a limited period of time. When the copyright expires, the work enters the public domain. Usually this is either 50 or 70 years from date of first publication, but in some cases it is 70 years after the death of the originator. Examples of public domain images can be found in the Flickr: Commons website.

Refer to the guide: Copyright and Digital Media for more guidance.

pin Copyright and Digital Media

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