Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Understanding Copyright and Knowing the Public Domain

I have been asked to make a presentation on Copyright to some newbies in my organization. It is important for an organization like ours that creates customized programs and content for clients. Writers are expected to research a topic thoroughly before they start scripting storyboards. Most research happens on the net. And copyright, especially on the web, is something that many people are not aware of. A number of people think that if anything is free on the net, it is not copyrighted. Often we "repurpose" materials from the public domain. Many don't know to what extent public domain materials can be modified. Are public domain sources to be cited? I have been asked to provide my two bits of input on the issue and make people aware of some of the misconceptions. I hope I do a good job of it, because as an organization we can't afford to make any copyright mistakes. Our clients would be mad, we would lose business and I shudder to think what will happen to the writer.

So I clicked on my bookmarks folder, navigated to the Copyright and Public Domain subfolder and browsed through some of the most informative links:

I' ll have to reread most of the stuff in the links above to do any justice to the topic. Phew! And I am the sorts who has to read and reread stuff before I understand it.

Not that I am cribbing. The topic is very interesting and I welcome the chance to refresh my knowledge about the subject.

I also plan to share some of my favorite public domain sites (heavily loaded with fiction):
I also have links to numerous myths, legends and fables as they fall in the public domain, I will post them soon.

I should also thank this entire exercise -- it has finally made me get a Creative Commons License for my blog (not that anyone would want to copy any of my writing). But I would like to safeguard what is my own and distribute it on my terms.

And I hope you find the links I have listed to be of some use.

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