Deadly Sin #4: Violating Copyright
Unlike spam and hacktivism, copyright violations are endemic in online activism. Some people even believe that if copyrighted material is redistributed by a nonprofit organization, the organization is automatically shielded from liability. I'm not an attorney, but I know this isn't true.
I can think of three very good reasons why redistributing copyrighted material that you haven't been given permission to redistribute, as part of an activism initiative, is a bad idea:
- It can get you sued.
- It makes you look sloppy.
- Have I mentioned that it can get you sued?
In Chapter 7, I explain how to find copylefted and public domain material that you can use in your activism efforts. That's a much safer, and therefore more useful, approach than just cutting-and-pasting something from a website.