Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Four Most Mythical Copyright Myths

As I was pondering potential subjects for the next Tip of the Week over at the Saunders Silverstein & Booth website, I thought perhaps a list of common myths about copyright might be worthwhile. But then I figured such a list must have been posted online before, so I performed a quick search. Turns out a number of people have taken a stab at the top ten (or nine, or seven) copyright myths over the past years, and they’re all fairly comprehensive. So rather than replicate past efforts, I’ve decided instead to create a meta-list: the Four Most Mythical Copyright Myths as determined by the top five (according to Google) lists of copyright myths (there was a sixth list that cropped up frequently, but it was fairly old and out of date).

For reference, I used the following lists:
And now, the results...

The fourth most mythical copyright myth
Tie: “If I use only a small portion of a work, I don’t need permission to use it,” & “If the work wasn’t registered or didn’t have a copyright notice, I don’t need permission to use it.” These myths both appeared on three lists.

The third most mythical copyright myth
“If I’m not making money from the work, I don’t need permission to use it.” This myth appeared on four lists.

The second most mythical copyright myth
“If I found the work online, I don’t need permission to use it.” This myth appeared on all five lists.

The most mythical copyright myth!
“If I give the original author credit/include the copyright notice, I don’t need permission to use the work.” This myth appeared in one form or the other on all five lists, and in both forms on one of them.

No big surprises, really. Perhaps a nugget of info to drop at your next cocktail party (assuming you want to be left alone and glanced at askance from time to time).

Digg!

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