Tips on Avoiding Copyright Infringement


Copyright infringement violations have taken the music industry by storm that it sent chills to the music community. Just last year, you heard about Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams losing battle. This year, you should know that Ed Sheeran is also facing lawsuit because of his mega hit “Thinking Out Loud” which is similar to Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”.

Definition of copyright

We will have to see the outcome in the coming days. Meanwhile, it is crucial that you know how to avoid copyright infringement. This is your ticket to a peaceful stay here in Singapore. Remember that ignorance of the law excuses no one therefore you should know it. Copyright infringement refers to the use of works that are secured by copyright law without asking for permission. Copyright law gives the holder exclusive rights to produce and distribute the works.

What are these works? It covers literary works, photographs, paintings, drawings, films, choreography, sculpture and music. Now that you know the basics, it is time that you know some tips on avoiding copyright infringement. Here are some:

Be creative

If you wonder whether your work can infringe someone else’s work, determine if you are drawing it from other’s creativity or not. If you are drawing it from other’s creativity, that can be a case of infringement. If you are confident that that is an original creation, that is not infringement.


Do not depend on “fair use”

Many people think that they can use something out of the “fair use”. “Fair use” gives guarantee that copyright laws do not infringe the freedom of speech. This is a complex law and it can be confusing to ordinary people. If you in doubt or confused, it is better to ask for permission first. Some texts under the “fair use” include critiques, teaching, reporting, comments and reporting.

Be careful on your writing

If you are into writing fiction, you should be extra careful. Although ideas cannot be copyrighted, if you use story lines, settings and characters derived from another author or literary work is copyright infringement.

We saw copyright infringement issues here in Singapore and it pays to know. The copyright infringement law is complex and not all people know and understand it. Most violators are ordinary people and are not aware that their actions are copyright infringement violations. For copyright holders, sorry or promising not to use it again is not enough.

Lesson here is to be wary of everything you get online or around you just to be safe.