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  • Writer's pictureHolly

Copyright... What is it and Why Should I Care?

Copyright...What is it and Why Should I Care?

Today my post is about copyright.

  • What is copyright?

  • Why should I care?

OK let's get started. This is my mind map about copyright. I'm not going to go over all of the details but I'm going to give you an outline of what copyright is.

  • Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the United States Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.

Copyright is serious business. And the thing you don't want to do is to get in trouble with copyright. So, I'm going to try and help you by giving you some information and giving you some facts and resources on how to understand the importance of copyright. There are a lot of myths regarding copyright.

  • Here but here are some very common myths about copyright.

1.) If it doesn't have the copyright symbol it isn't copyrighted. FALSE

2.) If it isn't registered then it isn't copyrighted. FALSE

3.) Public access. This means that just because it's on the Internet does not mean it's not copyrighted. FALSE

It may be in the public domain. You need to do searches for that and to make sure you understand Public Domain. I have some resources in my mind map connected to this post that you can access and click through and read about public access.

4.) Poor man's copyright basically says if I mail myself a copy of whatever it is or have it notarized then that's my protection for copyright. FALSE

5.) Copying or adapting someone else's work is OK. FALSE.

I hear people say "well if I take this piece of artwork and I change it 12 times or I change it 20 percent then it's mine and I can use it." That is false. Click the links in my mind map below and read about it.

  • The next thing is End User License Agreements. An End User License Agreement is a legal contract that you enter into with a seller when you buy their product.

Whether is it an embroidery design, an SVG design, a book, a notebook, a chart, or a step-by-step project, they all have End User License Agreements. You need to find those on a person's website and read them. This is a legal contract that you're entering into between you and the seller.

  • Next, the Copyright Notice Fact Sheet. Use the links in the Mind Map and read about this.

  • The concept of Fair Use. Many people get this wrong. Fair use does not mean I bought it therefore I can use it. That's not what it means. There are only four reasons that you can use fair use.

Teaching, Critical analysis, satire or parody, political commentary. Those are the only reasons.

I've got a video linked in the Mind Map below that explains Fair Use in a fun way.

  • So, copyright why should I care? That's a great question. I have had people in the SVG Cutting Industry say "Well nobody's going to bother me if I use this piece of artwork." You may not get caught right away, but you just never know who is listening, watching, visiting, etc. Just don't do it!

I will tell you that there are very strict and steep penalties for infringement. There are sections on Infringement, Penalties and What can be covered under copyright in my mind map below.

That's my general overview of copyright. My copyright information is in the mind map below complete with links to and

If you've never seen my map you don't know what a mind map is then just click here. This link will take you to what is a mind map.

To understand how to read my mind maps click here and this will take you to how to read my mind maps.

The Copyright Mind Map is linked below...Click on the "hand" to open the Mind Map software.

I highly recommend you go through this mind map, click these links, and read. It's very dangerous to violate copyright and can be very costly. In some states, you can lose everything. So please, please, please, be careful.

I hope you enjoyed the post and find the Mind Map useful.

If you are not sure what a Mind Map is please view the videos linked here for your convenience.


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