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Play It Safe: Making Sure You're Not Committing Copyright Infringement
Copyright infringement is not an easy thing to explain. While it may seem as simple as not using someone else?s work, it?s not that easy. Thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and many other organizations, we have the ability to use others? works ? as long as we use it under ?fair use? laws. So what does fair use have to do with copyright infringement, and how can you utilize it?
Fair use laws are the conditions in which you can use a copyrighted work without having to pay someone royalties. This includes when you use a copyrighted work for educational or instructional uses, criticism of the work, commentaries on the work, news reporting about the work, teaching on the work (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship uses, and research. This is talked about fully in Section 107 of the Copyright Code (commonly called Fair Use) and is available for you to read at your local library.
Copyright Infringement in day-to-day life
Sometimes, if you?re writing a paper for work or school, or if you are creating a Power Point presentation, you need to use someone?s work that is already in copyright. So how do you use it without committing copyright infringement? All you have to do is ask ? the worst they can say is no, right? But, if they do say no, there are several items in the public domain which may help you to finish your project without having to commit copyright infringement.
What is the public domain, and how does it relate to copyright infringement?
Material that is not copyrighted is considered in the public domain ? you cannot commit copyright infringement on works in the public domain. These works include things that the copyright has expired on, or is not copyright-able ? such as government publications, jokes, titles, and ideas. Some creators (writers, musicians, artists, and more) deliberately put their work in the public domain, without ever obtaining copyright, by providing an affiliation with Creative Commons. Creative Commons allows people who create materials to forfeit some, or all, of their copyright rights and place their work either partially or fully in the public domain.
So, how do I ensure I?m not committing copyright infringement?
First of all, if you?re going to use someone else?s material, you may want to check the public domain to see if something is suitable for use, instead of trying to use someone else?s copyright. However, if you can?t find something suitable (and you can?t create something yourself), the next best thing (and your only legal course of action) is to find a piece that is in copyright, and contacting the copyright holder.
When you contact the copyright holder, make sure you tell them what you want to use their piece for ? whether it?s for your blog, podcast, or report ? and ask them if you can use it. You may have to pay royalties, or an attribution in your piece, or a combination of both. The creator may also place many limitations on when and how you can use their material. Follow all these instructions they give you, and you?ll be free and clear to use their work as you want.
Once you have permission to use a copyrighted work, you need to make sure you stay within the agreed-upon boundaries - if you veer outside their agreed terms, you may open yourself up for a copyright infringement lawsuit ? which can be nasty, costly, and time consuming. If you?re in doubt, before contacting the copyright holder, contact a copyright lawyer to ensure you?re following the law ? and protect yourself!
Technical Writing: What is it? (technical writing) Technical writing is one of the most difficult forms of writing. To be a technical writer you need to be able to convey a technical message in a concise and effective manner. Technical documents must be created using comprehensive and precise information in a brief and understandable style. You will need the ability to be able to correspond with technical experts and have the understanding of all technical terminology. You are the middleman between the designers, engineers, or scientists and the audience of the technical writings. You have to have the ability to under stand what they are saying and the turn it into something that can be understood by someone else. Simply put it is writing that designs, creates, and upkeeps any kind of technical data such as user manuals, how to guides, and online help just to name a few. To be able to achieve a career in technical writing you must be able to write complex data in a straightforward, easy to understand and articulate fashion. You must be able to word step by step instructions in a way that seems effortless to a consumer. While doing technical writing one of the most important aspects of your job will be creating for an intended audience. So not only must you understand and convey what you are writing, you must understand whom you are writing it for. In most cases, you are generally trying to explain complex technical information to the average person. But with the diversity in the world today and having such a vast potential audience you must understand the meaning of the words you use and what they could mean to someone else. Some technical writing projects may also include magazine and newspaper articles. These articles will probably be focused on new technologies and products. In some cases this may be in the form of an advertisement. Or it could just be an introduction to a new product saying hey this is what we have and this is what it a can do. Although a formal education is always a plus, if you have experience and successful past ventures in technical writing it isn?t always necessary. Knowledge into the multiple components needed for technical writing is required. They key components to what you must know is an in depth knowledge many software programs. These applications can include Visio, Quadralay Web Works Publisher, Microsoft Word, and HTML script writing. Proper formatting, style, and organization of writings are what make them easy to follow. Correct wording, clear sentences, and easy terminology make your technical writings easy the read and comprehend. If you are employed as a technical writer with a company, you will most likely be working with a team of other writers. You writings will be reviewed for content efficiency as well as any grammar and spelling errors. Depending on the structure of the team they may be working on the same project as you or they may be working on separate projects. Either way the team is assembled as a support group to help make your technical writing be as accurate, effective, and as simple as it can be. To succeed in technical writing these are the simple rules to follow. Keep it as simple as possible; no one wants to read four pages to find a simple one word answer. Understand the people you are talking to and what you are telling them. If you don?t understand, neither will they. Make sure you get your work proofread or read it aloud to make sure it makes sense. You know what you are trying to say, but your reader does not. You are the carrier for getting information from point A to Point B.
Do and Don?ts of the Interview Process No one likes job interviews. From the moment you schedule the interview you are under a microscope. Your potential employers waiting for you to make the move that make you stand out or eliminates you from being a candidate for the job. This necessary dance that just about everyone, has to go through can be mastered. Learn the key things to do to become a high-ranking candidate for a job. First of all, before you go to the interview be prepared. Having copies of your resume and pens are only half the battle. Where exactly is the office located? Do not leave the location or the interview site up to chance. The only way to know exactly where your interview is and how much travel time you should allow is to go there. Even if you are interviewing out of town, find out how long the drive is to the interview. Nothing disqualifies you, in most cases, faster than being late for your interview. Before you are sitting across from the interviewer, accumulate some knowledge about the company. Knowing about the position is not enough. Everyone that interviews will have read the advertisement for the position. You need to be armed with information about the company. Have they won any service awards? Are they ranked as one of the best companies in America to work for? Find out and impress the interviewer. Another way to impress the interviewer is to have intelligent, thoughtful questions to ask. Ask about productivity, benefits or training procedures. Show that you have done your homework and are truly extend about the position. Be attentive and bring the interviewer as much information as possible about yourself. If you have a portfolio or reference letters, be sure you take them to the interview. Also be prepared with complete work history and information as well as past residency information. Be ready to answer a few probing questions. Why do you want the job you have applied for? What makes this a good time for a job or career change? Have some intelligent answers for these questions. Interviews will know if you are nervous. No matter how badly you need the job, do not appear desperate. Show that you believe in yourself and are confident about your ability to do the job. Speak in terms of when you get the job opposed to it. While this is a bold move it is a way to reinforce the idea of you being chosen for the job. This is a trick for both you and the interviewer. No matter how true this may be, never tell the interviewer that you ?really need a job?. If this is what you tell the interviewer they will think that you are willing to take any job. Also, never talk negatively about your current boss or co-workers. Give as objective view as possible if you are asked about your current job relationship. Inquire about the next interviewing steps. This will not only show the interviewer that you are interested in the position it will also give you some time to prepare if you are called for the next interviewing step. Be sure to keep a notebook in your car so you can jot down notes immediately after you leave the interview. This is the best way to keep track of important facts about the position. In a day or so, mail a thank you card to your interviewer. This could be the added interest they are waiting to see from you in order to eliminate the other candidates.