Best Practices to Lower your Copyright Risks

Create a copyright policy or guidelines

6 Best Practices to Lower your Copyright Risks

Whether you are in a for profit or nonprofit organization, there are key steps you can take to lower your copyright risks. In most countries, applying copyright law to the facts at hand is not a straight-forward process. Each situation or scenario can have a different conclusion regarding the application of copyright law. So what can you do to lower your copyright risks and help ensure that your library or organization is legally using copyright-protected content? Analyze the facts at hand, apply your facts to the law, then think about any risks involved in using that content.

A short checklist to help you lower your copyright risks is below.

  1. Understand basic copyright principles in your own country.
  2. Be comfortable with global copyright issues – remember most use of online content means a global copyright issue.
  3. Know when fair use/dealing and exceptions apply to your particular circumstances.
  4. Be aware of  the difference between a copyright lawyer and the non-lawyer who manages copyright in an organization.
  5. Be proactive and have a copyright risk management plan in place, possibly including a Copyright Policy or written copyright guidelines.
  6. Spread the copyright word – educate those around you about copyright and licensing electronic content.

Want more? Sign up for my upcoming course on Best Practices for Copyright Compliance in June 2015.

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