A copyright infringement is a violation of an individual or organization's copyright. It describes the unauthorized use of copyrighted material, such as text, photos, videos, music, software, and other original content. In the computer industry, copyright violations often refer to software programs and websites.
Websites that contain original content are automatically protected under international copyright law. In other words, you cannot copy the content of one website and publish it on another site without the author's permission. Reposting text, images, videos, audio clips, or any other content found on the Web without permission constitutes a copyright infringement. Legal penalties for violating website copyrights depend on the extent and damages caused by the copyright violation.
Since we live in a digital age, copying content is often as simple as a copy and paste operation. This makes it possible for one person to copy and republish content in a few minutes that may have taken another person several years to create. Therefore, In 1998, the United States Congress took steps to defend intellectual property by passing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, commonly known as DMCA. This law defines specific types of digital copyright infringements and establishes serious penalties for violators.
NOTE: If you ever want to use or republish content from the Web, you should always ask the author for permission and include an appropriate reference and link to the original content.
Updated: November 13, 2012