You may have an international copyright issue without realizing it. Many copyright issues that appear to be national copyright issues are in fact international copyright issues. Understanding your own country’s copyright laws is most important, but understanding how copyright treaties and international copyright law works is also essential when publishing content or using content online.
When Does an International Copyright Issue Arise?
With the internet and the way we use, share and publish content in our digital environment, many issues that were once domestic copyright issues have become international copyright issues. A global copyright issue arises in a variety of situations. You have to think globally if any of the following examples apply to you:
- An employee accesses your licensed databases while traveling out of the country
- You’re negotiating a digital license with a vendor/publisher/content owner who is based outside your own country
- Librarians from more than one country (e.g., South Africa, Australia, Canada and the U.S.) join a journal club and share articles through the club (a journal club involves posting articles to a private online space)
- Two colleagues share research papers from authors from several countries via Sharepoint
- You post a photograph on your Facebook page and someone accesses that photograph from another country
- Your organization has locations or employees in more than one country
- You’re teaching an online course with students located in more than one country
- You’re posting content on a website or intranet that will be accessed outside your own country
- You’re using content from outside your own country
- You’re determining whether fair use or fair dealing may be a defense to the use of online content