According to Rocket Lawyer, to avoid copyright infringement, it is best to assume a piece of work is already protected under copyright. Develop an understanding of copyright infringement and comprehend the limits of a copyright. It is also recommended to consult with an attorney who specializes in intellectual property law.
It is no longer necessary for a work to have a copyright notice for it to be legally protected under copyright law, notes Rocket Lawyer. Unless a person can confidently confirm a work is not protected under copyright law, he should always assume it is protected; this is especially true with information found on the Web.
There are specific circumstances where a work can be used even if it is currently protected by a copyright, which Rocket Lawyer states is known as "fair use." These specific circumstances include noncommercial uses, such as teaching, critiquing or commenting on a piece of work. If an individual is ever in doubt about the terms of fair use, he should seek permission for use from the copyright holder.
While an individual has the right to create a piece of fictional work based on accurate historic events, he does not have the right to write a piece of work that is based on work that already exists, states Rocket Lawyer. This is because the creator's ideas and facts are categorized as original thoughts and are therefore protected by copyright law.