Fallacies are untruths that people may have learned to believe as truths. In the online world, there are many sources of information that can cause confusion. The most critical question is usually this: Is downloading legal?
In determining whether any form of downloading is legal or not, it would always be wise to consult copyright laws. Copyright forms the basis of any person’s claim to exclusive use. Application of these laws however tend to be unclear in the online world.
Copyright is defined as a legal device that provides a creator of any form of art or literature, a right to control the manner by which his or her creation is used. Items intended for copyright must be tangible or something that can be seen, touched, concrete, or real. In order for anything to be considered acceptable for copyright, the presented material must be original and fixed. By fixed meaning that it is written on paper, posted online, or stored in any device. Some examples of copyrighted materials are music, movies, games, photos, articles, and the like.
Common Copyright Fallacies Online
1. Free downloads offered online are not subject to copyright.
This is a common misconception among online users. Free downloads usually present a semblance of complete freedom in downloading. Nothing can be farther from the truth since most sites that offer free download of movies and music are more often than not unauthorized to do so.
2. All materials uploaded online are free-for-all to use.
This is another common misconception. Any material uploaded online has a creator who is entitled to attribution especially if it specifically requested. The absence of any such request does not mean copying or downloading is allowed. It is always best to trace the owner and provide credit at the very least or ask permission to use if necessary.
3. Illegal downloads are untraceable.
People who believe in this will get themselves into a lot of trouble. With the advanced technology we have today, all online activities are traceable. Some activities like illegal downloading may have legal repercussions.
The main thing to remember here is that behind every creation is a creator. The need to respect copyright may be obvious such as in the case of songs and movies because of existing laws. In the case of other materials may not be too evident but would still require due respect.
About the Author:
Teresa is a researcher-writer who covers a wide range of topics in search of useful information to offer to her readers. She currently maintains four personal blogs.