Are you an Android app content thief? Avoid copyright issues

The first impression of your Android app is what is going to drag your audience to your app and make them want to download your app, it will also help keep your audience if they see that your app is set up in an easy to use manner and is pleasing to the eye. However, don’t you just love that there is always a ‘however’, your app’s appearance isn’t the only thing that will keep your app audience happy, it is your content that they will be most interested in once they have downloaded the app.

We have recently had to speak to a number of app makers that we were worried had infringed on the copyrights of pre-existing businesses, you see, it is important that your app is original and is based upon original content and not that of others. Let us take a closer look at the issues that you could face with copyright problems.

What is copyright?

Copyright is a plain and simple term that is simply asking do you have the right to copy the content. Someone has worked hard to create some wonderful content, so wonderful that you want to use it, but hey, do you have the right to take this content just because it has been published in a public forum? Your house is situated on a government road, but does this mean that someone can come take it just because they like it? Of course not, the difference here however is that you have legal documents to prove the house belongs to you, content is not so easy to prove the owner unless you have had the content patented which is extremely rare.

How can I avoid copyright problems?

1: Create your own content – Your Android app is your own idea therefore why don’t you create your own personal content? Creating content is not so difficult, you may be panicking that you don’t have the knowledge to create your own website to put your ideas on, but this is easy to do, there are many template based websites that you can use to create your own website, such as imcreator.com all you need to do is upload your images and write your content, the technical stuff is down for you. Even if you want to create an offline app, you can use the HTML template that will help you create the style you wish in a few simple clicks, you don’t need to have any technical knowledge.

2: Give credit – We aren’t all saints and we don’t all have the patience to write everything from scratch, well just because someone else has written the content it doesn’t mean you can’t use parts of it, but what we do suggest is that you ask the website owner’s permission to use part of their content,  the majority of sites will only be too happy to let you use their content as long as you link to them, for example; if you are creating an app based upon your local theatre productions, request permission to link to theatre websites.

3: Public domain – Many people believe that because they have access to the internet that all the information that we are able to get from it is based in the public domain and therefore we have the right to use it. This is not exactly the case, the internet is a piece of software that is in the public domain, but the content within the internet is still considered private entities as such as with your apps, the templates you are using belong to AppsGeyser and you are able to use these templates freely, however, the content within the app remains your property.

4: Fair Use – Using small snippets of content from a site can be considered fair use, there may be times when you just want to use parts of an article as a quote or to clarify a point that you are trying to make clear within your content, these small usages of content is acceptable. As long as you do not copy the entire content and can prove the reason why you have chosen to use these quotes you can always claim that the usage is within the fair usage policy. We would still recommend, even when using small snippets of content, that you request permission and give credit to the originator.

I hope that you all understand why we have to reiterate this issue on our blog from time to time. We really think it’s important to respect our fellow content creators and this will help you use our Android app platform and build an Android app that is unique and successful.

In this article I would like to credit my sources, (my own head) and facts from Wikihow.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this post should be considered as a legal advice. I am not a lawyer and legal advice should be sought if required.

If you’re interested in making your own Android apps, start creating apps here.

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