What is Copyright?
We hear the term used all the time, but what does COPYRIGHT actually mean?
Copy – “the imitation or reproduction of an original”
Right – “in accordance with what is good, proper, or just” – Collins World English Dictionary
Think of copyright as a friendly neighbourly exchange.
How far would you push it?
If a neighbour asked to borrow your lawnmower, you would likely assume it was to mow their lawn and happily oblige. However, what if they mowed the entire street’s lawns and charged a fee for doing it? It starts to push the boundaries of a neighbourly loan, right? The same can be said for using published content.
Copyright is about striking the balance between sharing published work and using it in a way that is “proper or just”.
Content creators (including authors, publishers and artists) are happy for us to enjoy their work; after all, that is why they have published it. They also deserve recognition and the right to earn a living from it. While making a copy of a book (for example) may seem harmless enough, it is actually depriving the people who worked on the book of a potential sale.
The Copyright Council website has useful information sheets on how to use copyright protected material free to download here.