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Fair Use Copyright Law Don’t Overstep the Fair Use Copyright Law Many people are interested in the fair use copyright law. The fair use copyright law enables people to use portions of material that is copyrighted for the purposes of criticism or as commentary. The hard part for many people is understanding what is permissible under the fair use copyright law and what is not permissible. Anyone who writes or publishes should brush up on what is allowed and what is not allowed. Using another person’s words to make news reports, to use as a comment or criticism or to use for research, scholarship, or for educational uses that are nonprofit are generally considered fair use. In these instances, the fair use copyright law allows one person or author to make use of another person or author’s work without asking permission to do so. In situations that do not fall within these specifications you are probably violating someone’s copyright if you use their work – especially if you are using another person’s work for economic or commercial gain. When you are trying to see if you can use another’s words, you should keep a few things in mind. The answer to the following questions will help you gage whether you would be violating a copyright. First, are you transforming someone else’s work or are you copying it? Second, are you going to be making any financial gains from your work that would compete with the original copyright holder? Third, do you have the author’s permission to quote their work? Just because you list the author and give credit to him or her does not protect you from infringing upon someone’s copyright. Fourth, how much of the original author’s work are you using? If you are using a substantial amount of another’s work, you are probably in direct violation of their copyright. Many publishing companies have set rules on how much material they will allow to be quoted in other sources. Some of these ranges start at 100 words or less. However, there are truly no standards to go by, so be careful. You can not assume that keeping your copying fewer than 50 words will allow you to pass under the radar – especially if the original piece is hovering around 125 words itself! Lastly, what portion of another’s work are you using? If it is the meat of the book and the most important part of the book, you are probably in direct violation of the owner’s copyright. With a little common sense it is not hard to decide if you are violating someone’s copyright. People who are truly interested in staying within the guidelines of the fair use copyright law usually do a good job of doing so. Many people push the fair use copyright law right up to the line, while others will blatantly cross over it without giving a second thought to the repercussions. When these people are summoned to court to answer for their vagrant disregard for the property and copyright of another they are usually sorry. Sorry they got caught! It is very important that people who take advantage of the fair use copyright law are held accountable for their actions. Without accountability many more people would follow in their footsteps and use another’s works as their own.

Fair Use Copyright Law Don’t Overstep the Fair Use Copyright Law Many people are interested in the fair use copyright law. The fair use copyright law enables people to use portions of material that is copyrighted for the purposes of criticism or as commentary. The hard part for many people is understanding what is permissible under the fair use copyright law and what is not permissible. Anyone who writes or publishes should brush up on what is allowed and what is not allowed. Using another person’s words to make news reports, to use as a comment or criticism or to use for research, scholarship, or for educational uses that are nonprofit are generally considered fair use. In these instances, the fair use copyright law allows one person or author to make use of another person or author’s work without asking permission to do so. In situations that do not fall within these specifications you are probably violating someone’s copyright if you use their work – especially if you are using another person’s work for economic or commercial gain. When you are trying to see if you can use another’s words, you should keep a few things in mind. The answer to the following questions will help you gage whether you would be violating a copyright. First, are you transforming someone else’s work or are you copying it? Second, are you going to be making any financial gains from your work that would compete with the original copyright holder? Third, do you have the author’s permission to quote their work? Just because you list the author and give credit to him or her does not protect you from infringing upon someone’s copyright. Fourth, how much of the original author’s work are you using? If you are using a substantial amount of another’s work, you are probably in direct violation of their copyright. Many publishing companies have set rules on how much material they will allow to be quoted in other sources. Some of these ranges start at 100 words or less. However, there are truly no standards to go by, so be careful. You can not assume that keeping your copying fewer than 50 words will allow you to pass under the radar – especially if the original piece is hovering around 125 words itself! Lastly, what portion of another’s work are you using? If it is the meat of the book and the most important part of the book, you are probably in direct violation of the owner’s copyright. With a little common sense it is not hard to decide if you are violating someone’s copyright. People who are truly interested in staying within the guidelines of the fair use copyright law usually do a good job of doing so. Many people push the fair use copyright law right up to the line, while others will blatantly cross over it without giving a second thought to the repercussions. When these people are summoned to court to answer for their vagrant disregard for the property and copyright of another they are usually sorry. Sorry they got caught! It is very important that people who take advantage of the fair use copyright law are held accountable for their actions. Without accountability many more people would follow in their footsteps and use another’s works as their own.

Conducting a Self-Evaluation After Getting Fired Sometimes life is hard and when you get fired, it gets even harder. In a country where employee turnover is high and there are no laws to protect you at your work place, potentially anybody is at risk to be fired. In general, that is true, but companies usually only fire a person that has done his or her job improperly, or is not qualified for his or her job any more. Therefore after you get fired, it is time that you conduct a self-evaluation. First of all, you need to make sure you know the reason why you have been fired. Do not just assume, you know why you have been fired. Make sure that your employer tells you the exact reasons why he has fired you. A self-evaluation as to whether the employer is right and whether you might have to work on yourself can only be done after you know why the company has told you to leave. If it was tardiness and absence of work that has gotten you fired, you need to be self critical enough to see that you need to be on time and be at work every day that you are not taking a vacation day. Keeping a job means playing by the rules and these rules do include times that you have to be a t work if you want to keep the job. When your boss told you, that you are not accomplishing your work or you are not qualified for the position, think back and try to find out why he might have said that. Did you deliver your work on time? Was it correct, mostly without any problems and errors? If that is not the case, then perhaps your boss was right and maybe you were not qualified enough to do the job. It might be that you need some more training or some more classes at the university to be able to do your job right. Or maybe you have just chosen a job that is not for you. When you are conducting that self-evaluation, make sure you are not too hypercritical. If it clearly was your fault that you got fired, you need to improve yourself and the personality traits that have led to the firing. Sometimes even though your boss gave you an explanation why you have been fired, you might not agree with the reason you have gotten fired from your company. Yes, sometimes these reasons might not be right. Since this is a society where anybody can get fired, maybe you have been fired because your boss did not like you and he made up some dubious reason for firing you. This is why you have to conduct a self-evaluation to make sure if what you were told is the truth. A self-evaluation might also lead you to the conclusion that you need to choose a different profession than the one you have been in. Maybe it took to get you fired to ser you in the right direction and at some point in your future you might actually thank that boss of yours that he had fired you. Otherwise you might have never found the job that you were destined for and would have been miserable doing the job you were doing. Unhappy employees are not good for a company and some bosses are good enough to realize that. Whatever the reason is that you got fired, make sure you find the reason and check with yourself how much truth lies within that reason and do you have to change to be a better employee and be able to keep your next job.

Copyright Infringement Play It Safe: Making Sure You're Not Committing Copyright Infringement Copyright infringement is not an easy thing to explain. While it may seem as simple as not using someone else’s work, it’s not that easy. Thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and many other organizations, we have the ability to use others’ works – as long as we use it under ‘fair use’ laws. So what does fair use have to do with copyright infringement, and how can you utilize it? Fair use laws are the conditions in which you can use a copyrighted work without having to pay someone royalties. This includes when you use a copyrighted work for educational or instructional uses, criticism of the work, commentaries on the work, news reporting about the work, teaching on the work (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship uses, and research. This is talked about fully in Section 107 of the Copyright Code (commonly called Fair Use) and is available for you to read at your local library. Copyright Infringement in day-to-day life Sometimes, if you’re writing a paper for work or school, or if you are creating a Power Point presentation, you need to use someone’s work that is already in copyright. So how do you use it without committing copyright infringement? All you have to do is ask – the worst they can say is no, right? But, if they do say no, there are several items in the public domain which may help you to finish your project without having to commit copyright infringement. What is the public domain, and how does it relate to copyright infringement? Material that is not copyrighted is considered in the public domain – you cannot commit copyright infringement on works in the public domain. These works include things that the copyright has expired on, or is not copyright-able – such as government publications, jokes, titles, and ideas. Some creators (writers, musicians, artists, and more) deliberately put their work in the public domain, without ever obtaining copyright, by providing an affiliation with Creative Commons. Creative Commons allows people who create materials to forfeit some, or all, of their copyright rights and place their work either partially or fully in the public domain. So, how do I ensure I’m not committing copyright infringement? First of all, if you’re going to use someone else’s material, you may want to check the public domain to see if something is suitable for use, instead of trying to use someone else’s copyright. However, if you can’t find something suitable (and you can’t create something yourself), the next best thing (and your only legal course of action) is to find a piece that is in copyright, and contacting the copyright holder. When you contact the copyright holder, make sure you tell them what you want to use their piece for – whether it’s for your blog, podcast, or report – and ask them if you can use it. You may have to pay royalties, or an attribution in your piece, or a combination of both. The creator may also place many limitations on when and how you can use their material. Follow all these instructions they give you, and you’ll be free and clear to use their work as you want. Once you have permission to use a copyrighted work, you need to make sure you stay within the agreed-upon boundaries - if you veer outside their agreed terms, you may open yourself up for a copyright infringement lawsuit – which can be nasty, costly, and time consuming. If you’re in doubt, before contacting the copyright holder, contact a copyright lawyer to ensure you’re following the law – and protect yourself!