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Thieves are Stealing Your Content
By: Jeannine Wheeler
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Most people don’t intend to break copyright laws when they try to pass off someone else’s ideas as their own. They are just “sharing content” with friends, family, and coworkers. What’s the harm in that?

According to a new report by Cision, there can be quite a lot — in the form of litigation and hefty fines.

Content sharing has increased dramatically since 2007 according to market research firm Outsell, which says people share content today with at least 11.2 people in their network per week, up from 7.2 people per week in 2007.

“As information sharing accelerates and becomes more critical, the likelihood of copyright violation arises,” says Miles McNamee, vice president of licensing and business development at Copyright Clearance Center.

Interestingly, executives are often the worst culprits, says Outsell, which finds that 48 percent of executives believe it’s okay to share content as long as it’s not used for commercial purposes. When it comes to paid content, digital or print, 45 percent believe it’s fine to share the information.

So that the PR industry and others can ensure they stay on the right side of copyright law when sharing other peoples’ content, Cision has published its Communicator’s Guide to Copyright Compliance and Fair Use. Click here to download.

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About the Author
Jeannine Wheeler is a PR Director who has worked in three countries, including Russia, the US and the UK. She is currently Sr. Vice President of Pure Energy PR, a full-service boutique communications firm with a focus on the energy, healthcare, technology, construction, real estate & land development, tourism & hospitality and food & beverage industries. Jeannine is in the firm's Austin, Texas office.
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