Copyright On Internet - It Does Exist
The internet has emerged in the last decade as a space where people can come forward and express their opinions without worrying about publishing etc. Anyone who has anything to say and the ability to articulate even fairly well can now put up his/her ideas. Information in the form of texts, documents, pictures, videos, audio files etc can now be shared and utilized like a free flow of information. This liberty and freedom, although a boon, has also resulted in a number of copyright infringements. It is almost as if people have come to believe that copyright laws don't apply to the internet. This of course is not true.
Copyright may be defined as the legal right, given to the creator of original content, for a period of a couple of years, to print, publish, perform etc one's work or to allow others to do the same. Copyright basically means that there is a legal protection given to authors of original works against acts of plagiarism.
Although copyright laws have been enforced on literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, architectural and intellectual works for a number of years, the internet has changed the copyright game completely. It is becoming clearer by the day that it is extremely difficult to enforce copyright laws on the internet, for there are a huge number of ways in which these laws can be broken or twists either accidentally or intentionally. One way in which copyright laws have been broken is by mass emailing or circulating hard copies of a copyrighted document. The music industry has been worst hit by the very popular p2p sharing system. People need to be informed that it is wrong to photocopy documents, images, journals etc and put them up online. It is wrong to take ideas, concepts, or complete paragraphs from other people's texts and pass them off as your own. If one has to develop on somebody else's ideas, it is required that one also duly quote and give credit to the original author. It is not very difficult to acquire permission and mention the name of the author in your work. Such measures can easily be taken by individuals themselves so as not to get into copyright related trouble over the internet.
As far as making larger community based change is concerned, certain measures can also be taken so as to change this perception of the web as this free for all no rules domain. The most important action that can be undertaken is to raise awareness. People need to know about copyright issues and what consequences they might have to face in case of copyright infringement. Dealing with errant behavior in the strictest possible way is also a potent option. A number of websites, companies and individuals in their own right are also looking at digital methods such as embedding watermarks in their works to avoid online stealing, sharing and copying. Making sure people know that what they are doing is illegal and a punishable offence is the only way to successfully deal with copyright issues on the internet.