The Paper Wall Submission(s) and Copyright(s) Policy

The Paper Wall operates with full respect to the rights of all artists and creative people worldwide and we expect our members to also demonstrate that respect and assist us in creating a beneficial and positive environment for all Paper Wall visitors and members.

So here’s the deal: Just about anything that is on this site, on the web, on TV, on CD's, on DVD's, in books & in magazines is probably copyrighted by someone, somewhere.

Copyright can often be a confusing thing for many people. In many cases the natural confusion over the sometimes varied circumstances surrounding copyright will lead people to rely on rumor or myth more often than the actual law which consequently confuses the matter even more.

In this document we will attempt to shed some light on the matter and counter many of the myths surrounding copyright and to present The Paper Wall policies and practices clearly with regard to copyright. The availability of this document should not be construed as rendering legal or other professional advice, and this document is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you require legal advice, you should seek the services of a qualified attorney.

So Copyrights Exist, but How Do I Get One?

Relax, within most national laws and international copyright treaties you immediately receive a copyright with any original work you create. However, if it is your intention to exercise those rights then copyright registration may be needed. You should know, copyright does not protect ideas. Copyright actually protects the expression of those ideas or the ways in which an idea is materially placed or expressed in the work.

How Does Copyright Infringement Even Occur?

To summarize, copyright infringement occurs when you manifest or use creative work that did not originate with you while never having received permission from the creator.

Let’s look at just a few examples of the many forms of copyright infringement:

  • Taking creative work from one medium and using it for another, like writing a book based on a movie or creating a painting from a photograph.
  • Commercially selling creative work without permission.
  • Altering or editing a creative work without proper permission.
  • Putting someone’s photograph or creative work online without owning the material and also not receiving permission from the original author.

Okay, I Get It, but How Does One Avoid This Infringement Business?

The road is tough but the best way to not infringe on the rights of an original author is to create your own wonderful, original and skillful work all on your own. Don’t worry, it is not as hard as it sounds. You don't have to come up with some original idea that no one has thought of before (remember, copyright does not protect ideas). All you have to do is create without deliberately copying or referencing during the creation process. If all parts of the work are of your own creation, both audio and visual, you are not infringing anyone else’s rights. If you do possess other works by individuals and/or companies with which you do not own, then be sure to get permission and/or licensing from the appropriate parties before you submit the work online.

Which Things are Copyrighted?

Well, most things, to be blunt and overly simplistic. To be more helpful, the rights surrounding creative work typically go back about 150 years. A work is not required to have a copyright statement printed on it or near it in order to be considered copyrighted so do not assume that the work is unprotected simply because you cannot see a notice written anywhere.

Also do not confuse the fact that a work is publicly available with the idea that it is in the public domain or free for use. Being easy to find on the internet does not affect a work's copyrighted status.

There are many exceptions to the 150 year guideline, but you are best advised to obtain legal advice from an expert if you intend to rely on the possibility that a modern work is not copyrighted.

A Few Words to the Wise

  • In most cases it does not matter how much of the material you have used, whether it's a single frame, a few moments of audio, a short clip of video or any other sampling it's still considered to be protected by copyright and you still require the owner's permission for use.
  • It doesn't matter how you obtained the material, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
  • It doesn't matter whether or not you've credited the proper owner, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
  • It doesn't matter if you are not selling it or making a profit, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
  • It doesn't matter if you can find other people using things without permission, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
  • It doesn't matter if you've edited it a little bit or made a few alterations, if it's recognizable it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
  • Read licenses carefully to understand the type of permission they provide. For example, there are many versions of the Creative Commons - each giving different permissions.

What Happens When You Submit Infringing Works to The Paper Wall?

Any copyright owner following the procedures in this Copyright Policy can require The Paper Wall to remove his or her copyrighted content in use by a member of The Paper Wall. When through the proper notice we become aware that a submission to The Paper Wall infringes upon the copyrights of another artist, creative person or company, we will immediately delete it. This is a legal requirement which we fulfill immediately; you will not receive an advanced warning and you will not be given an opportunity as the person who submitted the work to fix your mistake.

If you believe that a submission on The Paper Wall infringes on your copyright you may send us a copyright notice via email. A member of staff will review your notice and act accordingly.

If you believe that one of your submissions was removed in error you may file a counter notice via email.

If you are found to repeatedly post infringing content, your account will be suspended and serious offenders will have their account banned and deactivated. We consider three strikes to be the most we will tolerate as an indication of being a repeat infringer subject to ban. If you are found deliberately misrepresenting the copyrighted work of another as your own your account will be immediately banned and deactivated. The copyright owner may also decide to sue you directly if you infringe his or her copyright in posting content to The Paper Wall.

“Fair Use”

"Fair Use" is the notion that some public and private uses of copyrighted works should not require the permission of a copyright owner. These circumstances are very limited, complex to analyze under the law and require the help of expert advice from a lawyer. We recommend you talk to your own lawyer if you want to know more about fair use as it applies to the work you are doing. If it turns out that it isn't fair use, you may be liable for very serious money damages.

To learn more about fair use you can go here, here, here, and here.

Am I Protected from a Lawsuit After My Work is Taken Down?

No. Even if The Paper Wall takes an infringing work down, you may still be responsible for very significant damages if the copyright owner decides to sue you.

Notification of Copyright Infringement
Instructions for Copyright Owners to Follow

This section contains the formal requirements of the Copyright Act with respect to the rights of copyright owners whose content appears on The Paper Wall without authorization and instruction to copyright owners.

To file a copyright infringement notification with The Paper Wall (also commonly known as a "DMCA takedown notice"), the copyright owner or an authorized agent acting on his or her behalf will need to send a written communication that includes substantially the following:

  1. A physical or electronic signature of the copyright owner or of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
  2. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.
  3. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material. In this regard please provide URLs when you identify the location of the material.
  4. Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.
  5. A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
  6. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

To file a DMCA takedown notice, you may use the following method:
Written notice should be sent by PDF attached to an email to The Paper Wall’s designated agent as follows:
DMCA Complaints
The Paper Wall
attn. Troy Gleason

Under Section 512(f) of the Copyright Act any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity is infringing may be subject to liability. Consult your legal counsel or see Section 512(c)(3) of 17 U.S.C. to clarify or confirm the requirements of the notice.

If you want to send The Paper Wall a counter notice, please use the aforementioned email and instructions.

Under Section 512(f) of the Copyright Act, any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification may be subject to liability. Please consult the “Terms of Service” and The Paper Wall’s “Rules of Conduct” in which we explain that you may be removed from the site if you are a repeat infringer or if you violate The Paper Wall’s policies.