As bookstores around the country shift their focus to online sales due to the coronavirus outbreak, avoiding copyright infringement is becoming an increasing concern.
According to the Digital Media Law Project (DLMP), copyright law applies to online material just as it does to offline material, assuming the prerequisites for copyright protection are met. The DLMP states that copyright infringement occurs if you:
- Reproduce a certain work in copies
- Prepare derivative works based upon the work
- Distribute copies of the work to the public
- Perform the work
- Display the copyrighted work
- Or perform the work publicly by means of digital audio transmission
LegalZoom.com has listed examples of copyright infringement, which include the following: using others’ photographs for a blog without permission; copying software code without giving proper credit; creating videos with unlicensed music clips; copying books, blogs, or podcasts without permission; and anything where you are copying someone else’s original work without an agreement.
LegalZoom also provided several tips for website owners, which include exercising caution when using work that is not theirs; reading IP licensing terms; and looking for fair use when available.
Booksellers looking for more information should read Business News Daily’s article on the topic, “How to Avoid Copyright Infringement in the Age of Social Media,” which offers an overview of best practices concerning blog posts and image usage.