The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects content creators from piracy taking place online. A service such as takedown czar monitors client websites and their information products to determine whether piracy is taking place, then takes action in response. The team also finds any weaknesses in the site that would allow people to lift or download content for free.
Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement
Plagiarism is not the same things as copyright infringement. A person plagiarizes when using someone else’s material without citing it, even if that content is in the public domain. Copyright infringement, according to U.S. laws, occurs when the original creator still has the rights to the material. The length of time before the intellectual property becomes part of the public domain varies depending on various situations. For example, an individual author’s material becomes public domain 70 years after his or her death.
Examples of Theft
Sometimes, these thefts are financially significant in a direct way, like when an individual steals an e-learning course or an e-book. In other cases, they cause trouble because the thief posts a blog or article on other sites, resulting in duplicate content that search engines can find with their crawling software and that they do not approve of.
File Sharing and Downloading
File sharing applications are not illegal, but people commonly share copyrighted material without permission to do so. The music industry has experienced remarkable financial changes because of the tendency to download songs for free instead of buying them. People also purchase CDs or digital music products and then copy the songs and give copies to others or share them online, which is generally against the law.
Sales of music are way down from the years before the advent of downloading and file sharing. Individual musicians and bands now make the bulk of their income from touring, although songwriting royalties can be substantial.
By using a service like takedown czar, people who own the copyright to digital materials have a better chance of protecting their intellectual property. Digital copyright regulations are set forth in the DMCA, but the characteristics of the Internet make theft relatively easy in many cases.