Copyright infringement is a serious crime, and some people do it without even knowing it. If you do infringe on someone else's property, you could end up facing a lawsuit, so it is wise to understand copyrights and how you can avoid infringing on someone's protected work.
Copyrights specifically protect the rights to original artistic works. That means that things like paintings, music, videos, computer software and dramas are protected by copyright. This is particularly important for people to understand with the internet. Some believe that they can use anything they can print out or save, but the reality is that many things you see online are protected by copyright and may not be legally used without permission.
To avoid infringing on someone else's work, it's a good idea to do your research before you promote a product or piece of work. You don't want to find out that part of the product is stolen or "borrowed" from someone else's work.
Another thing to do is to read the fine print online. Sometimes, copyrights or licensing allow for personal use of images but not for commercial use, for example.
If you have a copyright on a piece of art or software and find that someone else is using it, it's within your rights to pursue a claim against that person. You may be able to collect compensation if the individual sold or used the work in a way that brought in a profit. Our site has more information on what you can do if you've had your copyright violated by another party.