The importance of Copyright

Copyright is “the right to prevent others copying or reproducing someone’s work”(1). To graphic designers and journalists, copyright is really important because it can hugely affect your career. Basically, copyright stops people from copying and stealing your work and if they do they will be punished. In the UK the types of work that are protected by copyright, and can affect me as a journalist, are:

  • “original literary works such as novels or poems, tables or lists and computer programmes”(1)
  • “original artistic works such as graphic works (paintings, drawings etc), photographs and sculptures”(1)
  • “sound recording”(1)
  • “broadcasts”(1)
  • “film”(1)
  • “typographical arrangements (ie the layout or actual appearance) of published editions”(1)

Within the field of journalism, copying things or using content from sources often causes complications. This is because if you forward on content such as an image or a video and you don’t research into it, it could be dishonest and affect your reputation. For example if someone sent you an image of a car crash on a television series and said it actually happened down a street in your area, it wouldn’t be the truth. If anything sent to you from sources is used in the news, it’s always important to make sure the image or video is genuine and to give the source of the information some credit. If you give people credit for their work, they are more likely to feel good about sharing it with you and will make contact with you again. However if you didn’t give recognition for sources of information in the news, it’s likely that those sources would not be happy and wouldn’t want to share things with you in the future.

From personal experiences, I know how disheartening it is when people copy off your work and use it as if it’s there own. Now, there has been two times were I have been upset by people using my work. The first incident of copying happened when I started to write on my first ever blog, about society and everyday life. The post I was most proud of on this blog, was a piece on how Meghan Trainor’s song ‘All About that Bass’ actually can be very offensive and corruptive. Within this post I included lots of quotes that were statistics from a mental health website, addressing eating disorders and basically sticking up for skinny people. Then a few months after posting this on my blog, I went on Facebook and saw that someone had shared a post from a popular blog that was pretty the same as mine. After this incident, I was so disheartened that I stopped writing on this blog because I didn’t want anymore of my work to be copied.

My other incident that made me concerned about copyright was very recent. I have just created a music blog and done my first post about a gig that I went to. On this post, I added photographs that I took and I then shared the link on Facebook to gain views. From my blog, I then discovered someone had took a photograph and posted it onto Facebook themselves and I didn’t get any credit or recognition. Again, this was really disheartening because I was proud of how well the photo’s turned out considering it was my first time doing gig photography. However, a few days later another photograph was used by someone else and he gave me recognition which was really nice and has helped me to keep feeling positive about the work I do now. From this photography scenario, I have now decided to place a watermark/logo on all the photographs I place on my music blog so that I don’t have anymore copyright issues.

Overall, I think copyright should always be taken into account because it does affect people’s feelings. Also if you do commit an offence, it can affect your financial state because it’s highly likely that you would get sued.

(1) http://www.cla.co.uk/copyright_information/copyright_information

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