Aired January 24, 2013

Slides & Transcript

Copyright webinar Slide01
Welcome to the our first webinar of 2013, Copyright Basics

Copyright webinar Slide02

I’m Sarah Morales a Director of Community Support at Wikia and today joining me is Sean McGilvray, a Community Manager who specializes in legal topics on Wikia.

Copyright webinar Slide03

Today we are going to overview Copyright and how it impacts you as a contributor to Wikia. Sean will lead the majority of this webinar, but feel free ask questions at any time via the gotomeeting software. We will be collecting these and doing a Q&A at the end. For this webinar Sean will start with an overview of what copyright is and what it isn’t, he will then describe the copyrights on wikia and offer best practice for your wiki. And lastly as I mentioned, we will do a Q&A at the end.

Copyright webinar Slide04
Thank you Sarah. So to start, lets overview, What exactly is copyright?

Copyright webinar Slide05
What is copyright?

Type of Intellectual Property (IP), different from patent or trademark

  • Copyright = creative expression
  • Patent = useful invention
  • Trademark = identify source of goods

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Copyright symbol

"You've all seen the circle-c…" This is a copyright symbol. It is usually included with the year of publication and the name of the owner of the copyright.

Copyright webinar Slide07
Definition of Copyright

The formal definition as described on Wikipedia.

Copyright webinar Slide08
US Law

In the United States, copyright law is governed by federal statute, a law written by congress. The authority to make these laws is granted specifically in the constitution.

Progress Clause: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

Copyright webinar Slide09
Language & meaning have changed

When this was written:

  • "science" = writing
  • "useful arts = science! (patents)
  • "useful Arts" does not refer to artistic endeavors, but rather to the work of artisans, people skilled in a manufacturing craft; "Science" is not limited to fields of modern scientific inquiry, but to all knowledge, including philosophy and literature."
  • Basically, this means that Congress can grant a creator a monopoly over their work and restrict others from doing certain things with it.

Copyright webinar Slide10
Copyright Act of 1976

Under this authority, Congress passed the Copyright Act of 1976, first major overhaul since 1909 but later revised by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. What does the Copyright Act give to owners? ownership = control, bundle of rights:

  • distribute
  • prepare derivative works -translations, adaptations
  • reproduce
  • perform and display

Copyright webinar Slide11

If you wrote a fantasy novel, copyright provides you with the rights to:

  • Distribute = Sell it to a publisher or print on your own
  • Derivatives = create a screen play based on it or translate to another language
  • Reproduce = make copies for your local library
  • Perform = Give a live reading of the first chapter
  • Display = More for paintings and works of art

Copyright webinar Slide12
Copyright provides an incentive to create

  • Whole point of the Progress Clause = promote progress
  • You can sell the work and keep others from selling it
  • You can give someone permission to copy it = License for a price or for free

Copyright webinar Slide13

Infringement is doing one of the enumerated things without the permission of the copyright holder

  • If the owner succeeds, court awarded penalties include damages such as lost profits from the infringing activity or statutory damages, ven higher damages may be awarded if the court feels that the infringement was committed "willfully."
  • In Internet setting, this would come only after the DMCA takedown process has been exhausted.
  • If you succeed on an infringement claim, you can even get a court order requiring infringing copies to be destroyed.

Copyright webinar Slide14
What is covered by copyright law?

  • "original works of authorship" = pretty much everything…
    • literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works
  • Minimal creativity, no quality standard: the most crude stick figure drawing qualifies as much as the most recent issue of Superior Spider-man.
    • "More creative than a phonebook"

  • Does it have to be published?
    • No, anything that is fixed in a non-transitory medium (written, typed, drawn, etc.) even includes RAM memory of your computer (when you type it)
      • That means that even your edits on your wikis are copyrighted even before you hit “Publish”
  • Not speeches (unless they are written first)
  • Does it have to be registered?
    • No, copyright applies as soon as you write it down. BUT, if you are going to sue, you need to register.

Copyright webinar Slide15

Is it your fantasy novel copyrighted? Consider:

  • Literary work? Yes, it is copyrightable expression!
  • But when is it copyrighted? Once you type it, your novel is protected by copyright!
  • What do I have to do to get it copyrighted? Once its typed, you don’t have to fill out anything, the copyright is yours!

Copyright webinar Slide16
What is not covered by copyright law?

  • Facts: the combination of words and structure are, but what they describe is not.
  • Any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery
  • Idea versus expression
  • Useful articles
  • Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans: more likely to qualify as TMs
  • Familiar symbols or designs;
  • Mere listings of ingredients or contents
  • Things in the public domain

Copyright webinar Slide17
Other important questions

  • How long does copyright last? Its complicated but standard rule - if post 1978, life of author + 70 years, when term is over, the work enters the public domain
  • Copyright is primarily handled by civil law, but there are criminal penalties
  • Works for Hire - ordinarily the copyright for anything you create vests in you, but works prepared by employee within the scope of their employment actually belong to the employer
    • spider-man artist does not own the copyright to spider-man page
    • famously, the creators of superman signed a work for hire agreement for the character and essentially sold the rights for around $130.

Copyright webinar Slide18

Copyright webinar Slide19
The Internet brought lots of changes

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The DMCA of 1998

Government trying to keep up but lots of changes, opyright designed to address things like the printing press, not p2p and file lockers Their answer: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act to address some of the issues unique to digital copyright

  • Puts responsibility on copyright owner to seek out and find possible infringements

Copyright webinar Slide21
How does it work?

Example if someone copies your fantasy novel

  • Wiki contains direct copying of the text from a fantasy novel
  • Copyright holders (author, publisher, etc) finds their content on Wikia
  • They send us a DMCA notice
  • Wikia removes content
  • Counter notice can be filed
  • Lawsuit may follow

Copyright webinar Slide22
Fair Use

The practical effect is that it is usually possible to quote or copy directly from a copyrighted work in order to criticize or comment upon it, teach students about it, parody it, research it or a few other uses

  • It’s fair to say that the internet as we know it could not exist without fair use.
  • Two Poles:
    • not an excuse for blanket copying
    • But does exist, and allows a wide variety of uses.

Copyright webinar Slide23
How much is too much?

Generally speaking, the factors boil down to a consideration of how transformative a use is, and whether the use complements or replaces the original work

Copyright webinar Slide24

Wiki dedicated to a fantasy novel it is generally ok to use:

  • Quotes or descriptions
  • Thumbnail Images
  • Screenshots

Copyright webinar Slide25
Copyright on Wikia

Copyright webinar Slide26
Licensing on Wikia

  • When you sign up and contribute you agree to our Terms of Use, which include our Licensing agreement
  • Licensed to Wikia and the rest of the world, but YOU still OWN the copyright

Copyright webinar Slide27
Creative Commons

Creative Commons - a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing easy ways for people to share and use their knowledge and creativity while reserving some of the standard protections of copyright (Wikia webinar with Creative Commons)

  • Licensing = giving your work to the world with special requirements
  • Can choose from various forms
  • Found on sites like Flickr, Google, etc

Copyright webinar Slide28
CC-BY-SA: You are free to

CC-BY-SA = type of license, gives free permission but adds stipulations What you are able to do?

  • Share
  • Remix

Copyright webinar Slide29
CC-BY-SA: Under the conditions that

And under what conditions

  • BY = attribution
  • SA = sharealike

Copyright webinar Slide30
CC-BY-SA: On Wikia

If your content is infringed there are two approaches:

  • Soft - If someone outside of Wikia is using your content without attribution, as the copyright holder you should start by leaving them a friendly note explaining the issue and presenting them with options for how to credit you properly. Many times, the lack of attribution is unintentional.
  • Send a DMCA

Copyright webinar Slide31
How do you properly add content to your wiki?

Ideal Cases:

  • translation (learn more about internationalization)
  • Taking wiki pages about the novel and building them into a wiki of the film
  • Making discrete connections between similarly situated subjects: adding info from Marvel Wiki to Captain America wiki and vice versa.

Copyright webinar Slide32
How do you properly add content to your wiki?

  • Import/Export = best way becauseleaves edit history intact
  • Copying from outside sources
    • needs compatible license, to be in public domain, have permission, or be a fair use

Copyright webinar Slide33
What about images?

  • Do not necessarily fall under CC-BY-SA
  • Recommend using license dropdowns

Copyright webinar Slide34
Local Image Policies

  • Wikis have different options
  • communities are free to make their own more restrictive local rules

Copyright webinar Slide35
Good Example

Example on file page from Runescape

  • Makes FAIR USE Claim, if the rights holder disagreed

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Best Practices

Where are you getting content?

  • Compatible license? Make sure to attribute!
  • If not, you need to at least be able to make the argument that it is fair use

How your displaying content?

  • Is it the major “heart” of the article, or used to explain or clarify

What are local policies?

  • Can be more restrictive, some wikis have a higher risk tolerance than other


  • Use licensing dropdowns

Remember Fair use Respect others copyright

  • Do not copy material that isn’t freely license, PD, or a fair use

Don’t be scared – can always ask or remove

  • Worst case scenario = DMCA, not the end of the world.

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Copyright webinar Slide39

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