Public Domain

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Public Domain

Published by on January 14th 2013.

If you create a copy written image and someone places your image in the Public Domain without your permission you may seek litigation for damages and loss of revenue that could otherwise be generated from this work. It is a serious matter.

This type of copyright theft is the same as if someone walked into your house and stole an item then gave it to a charity organization without your permission. It does not matter that they did not keep the stolen item or generate any profit from it, all that matters is the act of theft in the first place. Taking the item without permission from the owner. Giving it away does not negate the theft and in this case it compounds it.

Once an item is placed within the public domain it cannot be removed. It becomes free for all purposes to the public forever.

If you are riding your bike and stop to go into a store leaving your bike outside of the store it is still your bike and anyone that takes it is committing a crime. If the person that took your bike decides to give it to the local Goodwill store they are still guilty of the original theft and can be prosecuted.

The same law governs created works online, if it does not belong to you and is not already designated to the Public Domain you may not use it without permission and if you do you are committing the crime of theft. By placing the stolen item in the Public Domain you are causing loss of revenue for the creator. You can be sued on both counts as well as others.

You must be very careful when you create using other peoples' work. If it is not in the Public Domain and you did not create it you are better off not using it at all. If you feel you must use it contact the creator of the work and ask for permission to use the work and conditions. If you cannot locate the creator to obtain permission and the work is not designated to the Public Domain you should not use it.

It is just not good ethics to take what is not yours without permission.

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Recent comments

user icon Vlasta site administrator on January 14th 2013

People not caring about the licenses is one of the biggest problem of this web. I may have to somehow limit which people may upload things. Possibly only those, who read an online course and passed a test.

user icon cdl contributing user on January 15th 2013

Indeed.
The notion I've noticed lately is that it must be okay if I don't make any money off the item. If we give it away for free then it is not like we took it in the first place.

Robin Hood syndrome or something like it.

"I just want to make the web a better place, a prettier place. Let me take your work and give it away for free. You should appreciate that there are people like me out there willing to do this for free."

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user icon StickyChannel92 contributing user on April 18th 2016

I don't think The Male Boss cares about licenses.
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user icon Anonymous
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