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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!
Web Hosting - Why Backups Are Essential One thing most web site owners have little time for is... anything! Anything other than focusing on their site content and the business or service it supports and the information it provides, that is. That means that administration often suffers, as it frequently must. There's only so much time in the day. But the one thing that you should never let slide are backups. They are like insurance. You rarely need it (you hope), but when you do you need it very badly. Performing regular backups - and testing them - doesn't have to be a nightmare. A little bit of forethought and effort and they can be automated to a high degree. And, they should be tested from time to time. Even when a backup appears to have gone without a hitch, the only way to know whether it's of any value is to attempt to restore the information. If it can't be restored, the backup is worthless. Even when the web hosting company provides the service, there is still some planning involved for the site owner. Hosting companies often rely on one or both of two methods. They backup everything (called a full backup), then backup anything which has changed since the last full backup (called an incremental backup). Of special interest are any configuration files that have been tailored. If you've modified the default installation of a software package, you want to be able to recapture or reproduce those changes without starting from scratch. Network configuration files, modifications to basic HTML files, CSS style sheets and others fall into the same category. If you have XML files, databases, spreadsheets or other files that carry product or subscriber information - about items purchased, for example, or people who signed up for a newsletter - those should get special attention, too. That's the lifeblood of your business or service. Lose them and you must start over. That can break your site permanently. It should go without saying that all HTML and related web site files that comprise visible pages should be backed up regularly. It isn't necessary to record every trivial change, but you can tailor backup software to exclude files or folders. Usually they're so small it isn't worth the trouble. But in some cases those small changes can add up in scenarios where there are many thousands of them. Here again, the backups are worthless if they can't be used. Even if the hosting company charges for doing so, it's worthwhile to test once or twice a year at least to ensure the data can be restored. That's especially true of database backups, which often involve special software and routines. Database files have a special structure and the information is related in certain ways that require backups be done differently. Developing a backup strategy can be straightforward. Start simply and review your plan from time to time, modifying it as your site changes and grows. But don't neglect the subject entirely. The day will come when a hard drive fails, or you get hacked or attacked by a virus, or you accidentally delete something important. When that day comes, the few minutes or hours you spent developing and executing a backup plan will have saved you days or weeks of effort.
Job Hunt Challenges for the Over 50 Crowd If you have just recently lost a job or maybe are not happy with the job you are currently holding, you are going to be on the hunt for a new job. Hunting for new job is never easy, whether it is your first or your tenth job. You know that it takes a good amount of preparation till you might hold another permanent job. But for the older crowd, especially the crowd over fifty, the challenge of finding a new job is even greater. Explore some of the facts why it is more challenging to find a job after 50. Starting out by the age factor, many companies want young and dynamic employees that are open to new and challenging tasks. Many employers believe that a person over 50 is set in his or her ways and therefore not able to tackle the same great tasks that might open up as a young, fresh out of college open minded person. A person over 50 is closer to retirement and might not want to take any risks as a young career fresh from school employee. Risks are sometimes what a company needs to get forward, new ideas, new thinking. Another reason is the salary competition. If you are over 50 and looking for another job, you most likely have a lot of experience in you sector. Experience usually is measured in money and the salary for an experienced person is generally higher than a starter salary. While experience is desired, some companies can just not afford to hire somebody for 10-20 thousand dollars more than they can get the fresh from college employee. If you lost your job, you might accept one of the lower salaries, but while you are in the application process, the human resource person reading your résumé does not have that information about you. Some of the bigger companies get scared by the fact that you are really close to retirement and if there are certain retirement plans and structure in place at a company, they might not want to hire you. You could retire within 10-15 years or less and then the company is stuck with paying you retirement payments. Hiring a younger person instead guarantees them no retirement payments or plans for retirement in general for the next 20-30 years. From the employer?s side, these are great savings for their pocket. Another reason often seen from employers as a reason not to hire a person over 50 is that the person they are hiring might be more prone to sickness and take more sick days than a young person. Why would they think that? Statistics have shown them that the tendency for time off due to sickness is greater for people crossing the age threshold of 50 years versus younger people. Be honest, being over 50 means for most people more aches and pains all over the body. You are more tired and get exhausted quicker. So if you do get a chance to go to an interview when looking for a new job, you need to make the best out of it. Besides all the factors mentioned above, a person that is over 50 and is looking for a job can be a great addition to any company and you need to make sure that you let your interviewer know that. An interview is a great challenge and can be mastered quite well if keeping these thoughts that employers have in mind. Emphasize the fact that you do bring experience and connections. Let them know that if they hire you, they get a person that at least is settled in life. You have had all your children, or did not want any, but at least you will not be missing because of pregnancy, birth of a child, and sickness of a young child or similar events.
The Convenience of Online Writing Degree Programs (online writing degree programs) Online writing degree programs are not readily available, but they are growing in popularity. There are many traditional and online schools that offer online degree programs to busy writers. The online degree programs offer courses that teach students the basics of writing, including paragraph structure, theme writing, descriptive writing, tech writing, and grammar. Usually in writing degree programs, writers are given many assignments within one week, which range from analyzing the work of others to composing their own short stories and essays. The courses offered in an online writing degree program are much like the ones offered in traditional programs, and students will begin their program by taking beginner?s courses and eventually work their way up to the more advanced. The beginner?s course teaches the basics of writing, but after taking them, students will be able to take more specific courses, such as creative writing and tech writing. The online programs give students more freedom, but the workload is almost the same and students will have more and more writing assignments as they move further into the degree program. The online writing degree programs offer bachelor degrees as well as masters? and there are many schools that offer these online programs. Chatham College is one school that offers online writing degree programs. Chatham online is the online division of Chatham College, which offers online masters? degree programs for writers. The writing degree program offered by Chatham online offer 7-week courses and it has no residency requirement. The programs give students the freedom to study anytime or anywhere an Internet connection is available. Chatham online offers many degree options for its students, including the Master of Professional Writing degree, which gives students training to become technical writers, content developers for the web, advertising copywriters, and public relations specialist. It also offers the Graduate Certificate-Non-fiction Writing. This program gives students the opportunity to use their nonfiction writing skills and focus one subject, which include nature, environmental, or landscape writing. Students are given many writing assignments and attend many online writing workshops where their work is presented and critiqued. Once the program is finished writers will have a portfolio of their work that is of publishable quality. Another unique program is the Graduate Certificate-Writing for Children and Adolescents. The Certificate in Writing for Children and Adolescents provides students the chance to write fiction and nonfiction for children and adolescents. There are also many other colleges that offer online writing degree programs including Burlington College. Burlington College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Writing and Literature through an online program. However, this school does require a four-day residency in Burlington, Vermont at the beginning of each semester. Goddard College is also a school that offers a master?s program online. The college offers a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree through their online program. In this program, students are able to study poetry, fiction writing, creative nonfiction writing, and memoir, play writing, and screen writing. A short residency is also required for the program at Goddard College. The University of Denver is another school that offers online writing degree programs. It offers the Certificate of Advanced Study in Creative Writing. The program includes a range of courses on content and writing processes for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and other areas of writing. There are many other colleges and universities that offer online writing degree programs including Goucher College, Lesley University, University of Central Florida, and Washington State University. Like all degrees, online writing degrees are not simple to obtain, but they can provide convenience and knowledge, which helps them advance as a writer, or develop writing skills to that will help them in the future.