Internet copyright

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One of the features of the Internet is the ease with which a user can borrow media: for example, it is relatively easy to copy a graphic from a Web site and place it in your own Web site, or cut and paste some text from a document attached to a Web site. Laws on copyright and plagiarism are no more openly flouted than on the World Wide Web. The law, however, is fairly clear that any material, irrespective of whether it resides in print media or on the Internet, is the property of the originator and that no registration is required, although it is usually a good idea to do this. If you want to use some text or other media found on the Internet it is a very good idea to gain permission first. This would avoid, at best, embarrassment or, at worst, litigation. Given this fairly clear definition of the law it is worth pointing out that there are some issues which are specific to the Internet which have not yet been fully worked out within the law: for example, the copyright position of someone who makes a deep link to an existing site. See also bandwidth theft.

Subjects: Computing.

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