Copyright On The Internet

Behind each image there is a photographer, an illustrator who has the status of author. His works are systematically protected by intellectual property law.

Thus, on the Internet, just because an image does not display a “copyright” or “all rights” mention does not mean that it is free of rights.

Can I freely use a photo found on the Internet?

Although it’s tempting and very easy, you can’t! Unless you get permission from the author. Only he can decide the conditions of exploitation of his work. The mention of copyright is only there to remind the public that it is not free to republish an image, but its absence does not mean that copyright does not apply.

According to the Intellectual Property Code, copyright protection applies to all works of the mind regardless of gender, form of expression, merit or destination. Provided the work is original and the result of creative work.

To illustrate your blog posts or social media posts, check out our list of free and free image banks. The photos are published under a Creative Commons 0 license, that is, the authors have agreed to share their work with Internet users who can then reuse them freely. Beware, there are several types of Creative Commons licenses. Not all of them grant the same rights. It’s up to you to check which license is submitted to the visual you want to broadcast.

Can I copy a text found on the internet?

No, I don’t think so. The text is also protected by the intellectual property code. You cannot take it back on your own, unless you have obtained the author’s permission and cite your sources. Moreover, copying a text will not bring you anything in terms of referencing. Google easily identifies duplicated content and indexes only the original page, the first to be published.

Can I stream a video of a concert recorded with my smartphone on YouTube?

Again, no! Just because you’re recording a video on your smartphone or other device doesn’t necessarily mean you own the copyright to that content. For example, if you record a concert, it is likely that the artist, label or publisher will own the rights to the show.

Similarly, if you buy music online, you may not have the right to include them in your videos, especially if you then stream them on the web.

Are the artworks available for free?

Yes… And no! Not all works of art are in the public domain. They did not fall there until 70 years after the death of their author. But beware, there may be some subtleties. Thus, the Eiffel Tower, built in 1889 for the Universal Exhibition of Paris, is no longer subject to copyright… only for photos and videos taken during the day!

Indeed, since 1985, as soon as night falls, the Eiffel Tower is illuminated by projectors that give it this famous golden color and, every hour, it sparkles thanks to 20,000 lights. These lights are considered an original creation and are therefore protected by copyright. The use of the image of the illuminated Eiffel Tower is therefore subject to authorisation, as long as it is no longer limited to the private sphere.

On the internet, everything seems just a click away. Social networks have revolutionized content sharing and are helping to give the illusion that everything online is available. But remember that any use of a work requires the consent of its author, at the risk if not of being forced to pay damages for infringement.

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