Digital Media vs Copyright: Introduction

Digital media is at risk to copyright infringement.  The requirement for certain documents to be put in national or research libraries is called a legal deposit, and there is no law in the US that requires digital media to be deposited (Seadle, 2001).  To get a copyright, there has to be an original work, and then the “holder” or the copyright is the only one who can make changes to the work (Stefanac, 1996).  The copyright law we have now allows people fair use of any work that has been copyrighted.  Fair use allows people make copies of copyrighted work to use for either inspiration or educational purposes, such as making copies of an article for a class.  Fair use was not always in the copyright law, so it is proven that the law can be adapted to fit with the changing times (Long, 2006).  The problem is that it is very simple to make copies of digital work, and on top of being simple, the copies are exactly the same as the original.  Also, since access to the Internet is worldwide, one’s work is subject to change depending on what copyright laws are in other countries (Stefanac, 1996).  Because of the access people have to the World Wide Web, it is easy for them to grab a photo or video online and post it anywhere they would like, without having to give credit to where credit is due.

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