Lately, there seems to be a spate of copyright/fair use infringement happening to re-enactment bloggers. I think a lot of the problem is that copyright is a contentious, thorny, compex subject that no one really has an opportunity to study closely (unless you happen to be a law student, or perhaps a web designer, etc.) and so we often don't know what is okay to use, how, and when.
The issue came up again, and since part of my job involves keeping up on US copyright issues, I posted a short list of links to my Facebook page. The response was overwhelmingly positive, so I am posting here a longer list of resources for learning the basics about Internet copyright.
Disclaimer: I am not a copyright attorney or interpreter, nor do I play one on TV. What I am presenting is a list of resources that should hopefully be helpful to the average person trying to figure out what they can and cannot do online.
Disclaimer 2: I am located in the US, and these resources are for US-based persons. I do not claim to be knowledgeable about intellectual property issues in other countries. However, I will take suggestions from readers, so if you know of a good copyright resource for your country, please let me know.
The U.S. Copyright Office maintains a page of resources at http://www.copyright.gov/ . It’s a good starting place to get as precise answers as you are likely to get.
The USCO “Students and Teachers” page is helpful, if a little on the young side. http://www.copyright.gov/students_teachers/
The University of New Hampshire School of Law has an entire website dedicated to intellectual property and copyright. This essay by Prof. Em. Thomas G. Field, Jr. addresses some basic concepts. http://law.unh.edu/franklin-pierce-ip-center/studying-ip-at-unh-law/ip-basics/copyright-internet
George Mason University “Copyright and the Internet”: http://mason.gmu.edu/~montecin/copyright-internet.htm
University of Texas’ “Copyright Crash Course”: http://copyright.lib.utexas.edu/useofweb.html
The Center for Internet & Society at Stanford Law has a great page on Internet copyright and fair use: http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/focus-areas/copyright-and-fair-use
“Ten Bogus Excuses People Use When Stealing Photos From the Internet”: http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2013/nov/26/news-photography-medialaw