Top 5 Ways to Not Violate Copyright/Intellectual Property Laws

Sometimes copyright laws can be difficult to understand. Hopefully you can be safer in the future with these five tips.

  1. You can use people’s work in parodies: There was a huge debate about fair use on YouTube when Ethan and Hilla of “H3H3Productions” were sued by another YouTuber by the name of Matt Hoss after they made a reaction video on him. Hoss sued on the basis that the couple did not have the right to use his clips in their video. Ethan and Hilla ended up winning, and showed that you can use someone else’s content in your production, as long it was not a duplication of that content.
  2. Cite facts, but not basic facts: Let us say that you are writing on Busch Stadium for your term paper because…you want to be an architect one day. In your introduction, you do not need to cite things such as it opened in 2006 or that the St. Louis Cardinals played there since those are fairly basic facts.
  3. Memes are infringing copyright: Despite the millions of memes on the internet, unless you own the image you could get sued by the owner. Take the SpongeBob meme for example, Stephen Hillenburg could sue people using his creation for meme purposes.
  4. Trust yourself: There is no greater ally than your own person. If you feel that a work of yours could be infringing copyright, maybe do some research to ensure that everything is okay.
  5. Try to understand the basic copyright laws: Just knowing the simple things can be a big help. As long as you make sure the source is credible, of course.

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