I am not a lawyer and the following is not legal advice. It is merely a warning to be careful about using information or images that you obtained from the Internet on your website or a blog. To protect yourself, do your own research to verify what I am telling you is true.
In the past, the Internet was for the free exchange of information. Websites put information on the Internet to be used by all. However, that time has posted. Now, the Internet is a commercial enterprise used by people only to make money. What you used for free in the past, you must now pay to use.
Most all major nations abide by the Berne Copyright Convention (the United States signed in 1988), which requires its signatories to recognize the copyrights of works of authors from other signatory countries in the same way it recognizes the copyrights within its own borders. Therefore, any work infringed upon in a signatory country will be subject to the copyright law of that country regardless of in what country the work originated. The convention also requires signatories to provide strong minimum standards for copyright law and not to require formal registration.
In the United States, practically all original work is automatically copyrighted and protected, even it does not include a copyright notice. The usual form of a copyright notice is "Copyright (or the symbol ©) [the dates] by [owner of the works]. While facts and ideas may not be copyrighted, their expression and structure may be copyrighted. It is best to assume that everything is copyrighted and may not be used without the copyright holder’s express permission.
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