It’s Still Copyrighted, Knucklehead

copyright common sense courtesy of pixabaybanana gun suit-673697_640I’m not a lawyer, blah, blah, blah. And while marginally about copyright, this post is really more about common courtesy as well as common sense which someone (Wikipedia claims Voltaire) says isn’t so common. With a hat tip to Voltaire, I sometimes think common courtesy isn’t so common either. Maybe I should explain.

From a strictly legal sense, at least under US law, when you create a work of the kind covered under copyright law, you immediately have a copyright. While most of you think of this in terms of books and short stories, some of my musician friends are thinking in terms of recorded performances and lyrics to songs. Other artists think in terms of other output whether Kat’s photographs (don’t be using those without her permission), or the political cartoon in the Sunday paper, the same concept applies. Continue reading “It’s Still Copyrighted, Knucklehead”

Google Wins Appeals Court Decision to Scan Books

Judge's gavel, lawsuitGoogle wins again. For the past ten years, Google has battled authors and publishers over the right to make snippets of books searchable on its massive search engine. On Friday, October 16, the 2nd United States Circuit Court of Appeals in New York unanimously agreed with Google in their ruling.

In essence, it is legal under copyright law for Google to scan millions of books and make snippets of them searchable online.

What does that mean for us? Continue reading “Google Wins Appeals Court Decision to Scan Books”

Copyrights: Obtaining Permission (or not)

clipartSince making the decision just over a year ago to leave my small publisher and re-release my books under my own imprint, I’ve learned quite a lot about copyrights, both my own and those of other writers, musicians, photographers, etc. For example, just because it’s free doesn’t mean you can use it  Along those same lines, as discussed in my post Copyrights and Copywrongs, fair use may not always apply.

With this new knowledge in hand, I had to make some changes not only in my previous books, but also in one of my current works in progress. I wanted to use a quote from Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet, just a couple of lines, but wanted to make sure I followed the rules and obtained the appropriate permissions. I started by searching the Library of Congress database, but soon found that to be of little help. Gibran’s works have been published in so many places under so many formats, I was unable to pin down a copyright holder with any certainty. Continue reading “Copyrights: Obtaining Permission (or not)”

6 Places To Find Public Domain Images For Your Books And Blogs

mercedes tabano IIGuest Post
by Mercedes Tabano II

If you’ve been using images for any length of time, you’re probably already familiar with what a creative commons license is. These licenses are good, but mildly restrictive. However, there’s something better than a creative commons license and that’s the public domain license.

Public domain images can be used for any purpose, including commercial, because their copyright has either run out or it was never copyrighted in the first place. With public domain images, you can modify, combine with other images and even use them as a logo for your book all without requiring attribution or compensation of any kind. If you turn the image into something new (by combining it with other images or altering it significantly enough), you can even get a new copyright on your altered image. So where do you find these images? Glad you asked. Continue reading “6 Places To Find Public Domain Images For Your Books And Blogs”