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March 09, 2016

Are you Breaking Copyright Laws? I Almost Did Writing this Article


Let me preface this article by clearly stating:

Made Urban allows linking and deep linking to their website and articles. We encourage it. Please.....link away!

Copyright infringement is a complicated subject. There’s a ton of info out there and the only way to be sure you’re getting correct information is to talk to a lawyer who is knowledgeable on copyright laws in your area.

I’ve started several drafts on articles covering important subjects such as copyright but to be honest, they’re hard for me to complete. I don’t get to be creative with the writing because I’m basically repeating legal information and I’m nervous about passing on improper info since our readers are so diverse. These type of articles take a ton of research and the information varies from business to business, country to country and as new laws are passed.

So instead of trying to put copyright laws into my own words I thought, why not link to a bunch of articles that are already answering copyright questions?

I already knew using images from other people’s websites was a big no-no, unless you were granted permission from the owner. But linking to content brought up another question:

Am I allowed to link to other people’s articles on my website without asking their permission?

Surely this would be allowed, I mean, who wouldn’t want their articles being shared and to gain new traffic from a linkback? Here’s what I found:

Businesses often want visitors to land on the home page of their website so they don’t miss important messages or advertisements. For this reason, I can link to other people’s home pages without asking permission. But unless a website has specifically stated that “deep linking” (a hyperlink that links to a specific page) is allowed, or I’ve contacted each website owner and received permission to link to an article, I cannot link to a specific page of a website.

So there you have it. Me linking to articles on copyright could potentially be copyright infringement.

So, to cover my own butt, I forewent my original idea of providing a bunch of links to informational articles and have one website to link to where you can enter keywords into a search bar.

  • Visit this website: http://www.avvo.com
  • Hover over the “Legal Topics” tab
  • Click on the “Start your Research Here” button
  • Enter the keywords you’re interested in (you can leave the second location field blank)

The results will bring up articles on the subject and if you scroll down, you’ll find common questions that are answered by attorneys.







Some of the keywords you may want to enter:

  • Copyright – get a better understanding of general copyright laws
  • Copyright infringement – this will bring up a wide range of topics and questions around what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to using copyrighted material
  • Licensed Patterns / Pattern Copyright – if you sell items that follow knitting, crochet or sewing patterns, have a look into this topic
  • Licensed Fabric – if you sell products made with fabric that has copyrighted images or characters on it (e.g. ribbon with Disney characters printed on it or fabric with a sports team’s logo printed on it)
  • Fan art – if you create items that depict a character in a movie or tv show (e.g. crocheted minion hats)
  • Copyright phrases - if you're using movie quotes, lyrics or a play on them (Google "Taylor Swift sues fan" or "Beyonce sues over Feyonce")
  • Expired copyright - find out if an images' copyright has expired


Here’s another site that’s helpful: http://www.craftsandcopyrights.com/index.html
Click on "Copyright Info" for a bunch of FAQ's.

This website has some interesting information regarding companies who define what can and cannot be done with their patterns, licensed fabric, etc. but don’t actually have any laws backing them. http://www.tabberone.com/index.shtml Click on the “CLICK HERE” link under the “Tabberone's Trademark Page” title.


Pin It!

I apologize it couldn’t be more convenient for you but I figured an article on copyright infringement shouldn’t be infringing on copyright.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section and I'll do my best to direct you to the proper resources.

By providing links to other sites, Made Urban does not guarantee or endorse information, products or services provided by the website. Made Urban holds no responsibility for the legality or accuracy of the website linked to.

This article is for information purposes only and is not necessarily kept up to date. Speak to a professional for the most up to date information for your profession and jurisdiction.

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Comments
Janice
2016-03-14 03:30
Great info. and topics to consider! Thanks for the links !
Made Urban
2016-03-22 03:43
Thank you so much Janice! Glad you found it useful :)
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