Laws and regulations are an integral part of modern society, and they have been with us for a very long time, many centuries to be exact, giving us a guide to follow and conventions to respect. Well, the Internet has also become an integral part of modern society, and it's no wonder that many countries all around the world are trying to create Internet or Cyber laws that will govern everything we do online. One of the most important Internet laws is in fact the Internet Copyright Law, and here will be discussed how it works in some detail.
The US Internet Copyright Law
Everything created on the Internet after the date of April 1 1989 is protected under the American Internet Copyright Law. This can in many cases probably be difficult to understand, but the fact is that if you come from the USA, and you have created something and uploaded it on the World Wide Web is the last 20 years or so, this work of your is protected, and it cannot be stolen by anybody. However, this is true only in theory.
The Problems with the Internet Copyright Law
Yes, it is true that you hold all rights to your work as the original author ever since your work has seen the light of the Internet day. Yes, it is also true that you have the right to take action if someone happens to steal your original work from the Web. However, the problem arises when there is more than one country involved in this process. Namely, if you are an American, and your work has been illegally downloaded by a person from let's say Albania, there's probably nothing you'll be able to do about it. The reason for this is the fact that most countries don't have any rules or regulations regarding the Internet, so even though you might know exactly who stole your work, in many cases you will not be able to act on this fact.
Another important issue related to the Internet Copyright Law is the fact that you often cannot know who violated the law, meaning that there are ways to steal your work from the Internet without you knowing who was actually responsible. For example, modern technology can, by tracing IP addresses, tell you where the person who stole your work was, but can never tell you exactly who this person is.
The Internet Copyright Law and Plagiarism
Plagiarism is another interesting subject related to the Internet Copyright Law, as in many cases it cannot be proven. For example, if you have taken a photograph and uploaded it to the Web, and if someone took this photo without crediting you as the original author, then you can make this person remove the photo, or even sue the person. However, if you have written an original article, for instance, and uploaded it on the Internet, you cannot do anything if someone read your article and steals the idea, even though plagiarism is actually defined as using someone else's words, quotes or even ideas as their own.