Can I use images found on Internet?
Not all. There are few sites where you can find images which are free to use commercially. You can download images from such sites and then use your creativity to combine these images with your graphics. You can use a simple tool like canva.com to create high quality images.
Don’t just download an image from google or other search engine sites. These images might be free to look at but most probably not free to use and so if you use them you might infringe copyright laws. Do a simple google search on google for Free images and you will find number of sites offering free quality images.
Few examples are:
Can I include hyperlinks to other websites in my resource/product that I am selling?
Also, we recommend that all the hyperlinks that you have in the resource should work correctly and should be up to date. You might lose buyer’s trust in case the links don’t work. If the buyer comes back to you with a query, then immediately get back to them and fix the issue to keep your customer service high. If the buyer happens to report to us, we might deactivate your product and have to process a refund for the buyer which might reflect on your account too.
Can You please elaborate on Fair use? I am not sure how it applies to my work.
Fair use is a legal doctrine that portions of copyrighted materials may be used without permission of the copyright owner provided the use is fair and reasonable, does not substantially impair the value of the materials, and does not curtail the profits reasonably expected by the owner.
Remember, millions of dollars have been spent to define the fair use. It’s not a hard-and-fast rule but is only a general rule with varied court decisions. It’s been designed similar to free speech so that it can have expensive meaning which could be open for interpretation. Again, if a publisher thinks you have violated his/her copyright policy the fair use decision can only be made in the court. Section 107 calls for consideration of the fallowing four factors in evaluating a question of fair use:
- Is it for non-profit educational purposes or for commercial use: Court looks at the purpose of use to define if it’s fair or not. Usually, non-commercial and non-profit educational uses will be considered as fair BUT this is not always and it should not be misunderstood that all the commercial use are not fair; instead, the court weighs the purpose and character of the use against the other factors below. Moreover, the work will most likely be considered as fair use if it adds something new, with a different purpose or different character, and do not substitute for the original use of work. It’s usually called “Transformative” use.
- Nature of the Copyrighted work: If the work you used is highly creative or imaginative work then most likely it will not fall under fair use (example songs, movies, music, novel) but If the work that is used is more factual (like technical article or news article) then it might be considered as fair. Also, use of unpublished work is less likely to pass the fair use test
- Amount of the work that is used from the copyrighted work: The courts looks at both the quantity and quality of the copyrighted work. If you used a big portion from the copyrighted work, then the chances are you will fail the fair use test and if you have only used a small amount from the copyrighted work, then the chances are you will pass the fair use test in the court. Note: there have been instances in the court where the court considered the entire use of the copyrighted work as fair. On the other hand, there have been instances where even a small part from the copyrighted work was determined not to be fair because that small part was the essence of the whole copyrighted work (like the “heart of the work).
- Effect of use on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work: To protect the original copyright owner, the court looks into the effects on the present and future market, the unlicensed use harms the owner. Here the court considers the possibility of hurting the current market for the original work and or whether the use could cause substantial harm to the original owner if, in case, the unlicensed work happen to become widespread.
Court evaluates the fair use claims on a case-by-case basis and therefore there might be few other factors that the court might consider before coming to a conclusion. As an EdHero, you should be aware of this important distinction as you decide whether or not to use another’s content as part of your own.
How can I know if something I want to include as part of my resource is copyrighted?
What kind of work fall under public domain? How will I know if the work is in public domain or not?
The work under public domain is free to use and no one owns the copyrights to such work anymore. To know if the work falls under public domain you need to check its publication date. Every work is protected by copyright laws for a certain time period. After that time period is over the work usually ends up in public domain unless renewed. The laws keep changing and so it becomes a bit tricky to know. Here is a resource that we believe will come handy.
Note: Anything published before 1923 is under public domain.
How can I copyright my work?
This is the easiest thing in the world! You have to do nothing. Once, you create your work it’s automatically copyrighted and guess who owns the exclusive rights to the work? It’s YOU! You don’t need to take any additional steps to ensure copyright of your work.
You can go a step further though, if you like, and get your copyright registered. Registering your copyright give you extra protection in case you believe someone might copy your work and you might want to drag them to court. In court, the registered copyright looks more legitimate and the court can make a better decision based on right evidence. (registration with the copyright office is a must if you want to enforce it).
Copyrights are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Here is some more info.
You can contact us and one of our lawyers will help you file the copyright of your work and will get your work registered.
If I create a resource with a colleague who owns the copyright?
It depends. More than one person can have copyrights in a piece of work. Whenever you’re collaborating with others to create materials, it’s important to talk about and agree in advance on whether the whole product will be jointly owned, whether separate contributions will be separately owned, or whether you’ll have some other arrangement.
Notification of infringement
It is our responsibility to respond to clear notices of copyright infringement. Here is what you need to include in a letter written to us, complied with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Upon receipt of a DMCA compliant notice, EdHero Inc. will remove or disable the resource pointed out in the notice.
If you are copyright owner or an authorised agent thereof, and you wish to file a notice of infringement with us, then please provide the following information in writing:
- Physical or electronic signature of a person authorised to act on behalf of the copyright owner who believes his rights are infringed.
- Identification of the material that you claim to be infringing the rights of the copyright owner and to which access should be removed or disabled. Reasonable location identification so that EdHero can easily find the material.
- Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to be infringed.
- Your contact information: Address, phone, Email address.
- A statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complied of is not authorised by the copyright owner, or the law.
- A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that you are authorised to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
Please note that under section 512(f) of the DMCA, any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material of activity is infringing maybe subject to liability. If you are unsure that the material available online infringes your copyright, we suggest you contact an attorney before sending us a notice.
If I receive a notification from EdHero that one of my resources is taken down due to copyright issues. Can I write a counter- notification if I am sure that I have not infringed any copyright policies?
The answer is Yes! Write an email to us at email@example.com. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects you from erroneous or fraudulent infringement claims.
Here are the steps of the process:
- You receive a takedown notice and infringement notification about an item on your store. You are certain and believes that you have not violated copyright laws.
- Send EdHero an email with the details as outlined in our copyright policy
- We will forward your counter-notification to the copyright owner who, within 10 days, must either file suit against you or accept your counter-notification.
- If the copyright owner does not file suit, then we put your item back in the store within 14 days of your complete counter email to us.
Make sure you are 100% confident that you have not infringed any copyright laws before filing the counter notification. The only risk is that if you really have and still file a counter- notification then the owner has a right to file a suit against you. We don’t judge any product on the store and so it’s your responsibility to take care to follow these steps to get your product back to the store.
Here is a sample counter notification letter for your perusal:
- Help us identify the location of the material on the EdHero platform before it was removed or disabled plus the description of the material itself. THE NAME, DESCRIPTION AND URL OF THE ITEM
- Statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that you have a good faith belief that the material was removed or blocked as a result of a mistake or misidentification of the material in question;
- Your contact information, including full name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address;
- Statement by you that you consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal Court for the judicial district in which your address is located or, if your address is outside of the USA, for the judicial district in which EdHero is located, and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided notification of the alleged infringement;
** INDICATE THAT YOU ACCEPT IF YOU ARE SERVED PAPERS
- Your Electronic or physical signature.
EITHER A SCANNED IMAGE OF YOUR SIGNATURE OR A TYPED SIGNATURE
The information in this message is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.