If you are an active internet user, I hope you are, you must be familiar with this term, “This may be subject to copyright”. Before you copy and paste the material, have you ever wondered what is this copyright and how to use those works of others fairly? Internet Etiquette which is also known as netiquette is a code of good behaviour on the Internet. It is our duty to understand and behave accordingly.


The definition of copyright is the right to copy. Copyright describes the legal rights of the owner of intellectual property. The person who owns the copyright to work, such as song lyrics or an original drawing, is the only person who can copy that work or give permission to someone else to copy it. Copyright covers all original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. Each category includes a wide variety of material. Literary works include computer programs as well as poems. Copyright covers photographs in the artistic category. When a person creates an original work, fixed in a tangible medium, he or she automatically owns the copyright to the work.

What can be Protected by Copyright?

Copyright law applies to a broad range of intellectual property, including:

  • Audiovisual works, such as TV shows, movies, and online videos.
  • Sound recordings and musical compositions.
  • Written works, such as lectures, articles, books, and musical compositions.
  • Visual works, such as paintings, posters, and advertisements.
  • Video games and computer software.
  • Dramatic works, such as plays and musicals.

Fair Use

Fair use is any copy of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. If your use qualifies as fair use, then it would not be considered an infringement.

The work can be considered as fair use only if it falls in the below categories:

  • Parody
  • Commentary and critique
  • News reporting
  • Teaching
  • Scholarship
  • Research


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