Violations of Intellectual Property
The Internet , the worlds electronic global soapbox, is one of the best promotional tools for up and coming authors, painters, and photographers. Art display sites, music sharing sites, poetry sites can be found everywhere on the Net, and the new works of others can be shared around the globe with the push of a button. This process of art distribution can allow for monies to be made from art, writings, and music. By posting to these sites a copyright symbol is added to the work to protect the integrity of the piece, and the author is given free reign to promote the piece. The royalties made online are then distributed to the author from the sales of their creations online. The last few years this form of art distribution and showcasing of music has came into question from copyright laws being violated by members of Kazaa and other internet file sharing sites. These types of violations against Intellectual Properties of others have caused the Government of our country to revamp the laws of copyright material distribution on the Internet; therefore, the Integrity of the artist and his or her piece of work can be violated. Not only does the issue effect artists, but this issue can effect trademarks of companies with the companies true identity being jeopardized from the stealing of company names to create illegitimate websites. The websites can then promoted through emailing, luring customers of legitimate sites in to steal their money and information. I am a member of an art promoting website called, Fanartreview.com. We will take a deeper look into infringement of intellectual property and the ramifications of promoting, distributing, across the airwaves in the new age of the Internet.
Copyright Infringement and Websites
Some websites have taken safeguards to help in the stealing of others works. Some of these sites will not allow other users to copy the work or download the piece. When the user attempts to capture the piece for their use a dialog box pops up refusing the person from capturing the work.
In 1998 the Data Protection act was enacted. This act allows websites to record the ISP addresses of those who visit their sites. The ISP address is a way of identifying the perpetrator of possible copyright crimes which may be committed by those trying to steal others original work. The ISP of the user can be recorded without any court order for the protection of original work. This information gained can help the artist in court with proving the infringement to their portfolio.
Infringement of Online Intellectual Property Civil or Criminal?
According to the laws passed in 1998 any person injured from the stealing of copyrighted material can bring proceedings against the person who stole their individual works. In this case if the action is civil, then the person who has violated and stole the Intellectual Property of the one involved may be subject to fines paid to the original producer of the piece of art. Many users of the website Kazaa, mentioned earlier, were ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines by the court system.
Any person injured by a violation of section 1201 or 1202 may bring a civil
action in Federal court. Section 1203 gives courts the power to grant a range of
equitable and monetary remedies similar to those available under the Copyright Act,
including statutory damages. (The Digital Millennium Copyright 1998)
If the one accused of stealing the work is innocent of any wrongdoing the court also lesson or eliminate any of the fines.
In the case of personal and financial gain is proven of the perpetrator a criminal case can be brought about by the court system.
Under section 1204 penalties range up to a $500,000 fine or up to five years imprisonment for a first offense, and up to a $1,000,000 fine or up to 10 years imprisonment for subsequent offenses. (The Digital Millennium Copyright 1998)
We can see by the news of the past regarding sites like Kazaa, all Internet authors, painters, and musicians should make sure their works are protected. One way to make sure is to find out how secure your website is. The integrity of the site used for promotion should be determined. Making sure the website is capturing the IP addresses of each user is a form of protection. Also, making sure there are other safety precautions built into the site so the work cannot be copied is must in protecting work.
The Digital Millinium 1998, http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf