Copyright law and the Internet – how to cite/to quote?

With the development of technologies evolves and changes the way of our life (should) – as student or the working one. More often we read news on the Internet, more rarely we read the paper edition. Internet has collected a wealth of information from different sources, from different authors, by that, surely, affecting the intellectual property. The development of technology has evolved and significantly changed aspects of everyday life. For example, the internet has overtaken printed paper editions as the primary source for news and information.

Thus the intellectual property, including scientific, literary, musical and audiovisual works, as well as web design, software, websites and others – are protected by the law of Copyright.

Any article, regardless of its authorship is already a subject of the copyright. Therefore, if the article is being used for profit without previous consent and or citation of the source, it is a violation of the copyright.

Copyright is regulated not only at the international level – Universal Copyright Convention 1952, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works 1886, the WIPO Copyright Treaty 1996, but also at the local level – legislation of the particular state.

In the Czech Republic the provisions of the copyright law are contented in the Civil Code (No 89/2012 Coll.) and the Act of Copyright Law (No 121/2000 Coll.) Violations of the copyright law are also regulated by the Criminal Code (No 40/2009 Coll.) of the Czech Republic, according to which, the perpetrator can be imprisoned for 2 years.

For example, if  an individual listens to his favorite music for personal leidure, it is not a copyright infringement (if this product, surely, was purchased legally). On the other hand, if he uses this composition in a public space for profit without the consent of the author or the rightholder/ or the license/ or the right of possession (not deducting some sum of the profits to the author or the rightholder), than –he should be prepared for the proceedings.

The most frequent case in the Internet – is the “copy-paste” of the part or the whole article. Since this is an intellectual property, the best thing to avoid the copyright infringement – to cite/to quote.

How to quote correctly? While writing the article, mostly being used the Harvard citation system.

However, in the general use is sufficient to indicate:

–          The author

–          Co-author (if there’s one)

–          Name of the product/composition

–          Year of publication/writing

–          Name of the publisher

–          If the publisher is unknown, or the article was found in the internet, the should be indicated the exact source (the link)

–          Or, if the author is unknown, but is known the other work, where this copyright object was used – then should be indicated that work.

The most often example – if we don’t know the composer of the film, then OST Pirates of the Caribbean, 2003, Walt Disney Records.

(c)Elmira Lyapina

Disclaimer about the nature of the information contained in this article. The information provided in this article is general information, and does not constitute legal advice, and may not be valid in a particular situation. To obtain qualified legal consultancy, you should contact a lawyer with the provision of the necessary documents regarding the case. For example, by email: This article was prepared on the basis of an analysis of legislative regulations for the year 2014. Therefore, while using such information, any changes made to the legislation after that date should be taken into consideration. This is a translation of an article which was published firstly in the Russian language on April 16, 2014, on