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Achieving a Better Family and Work Balance Makes for Better Job Performance Are you constantly working after hours and weekends at the office? Are beginning to forget what your family even looks like? Many people find themselves in this predicament. Work seems to get more and more demanding with every passing day, and to stay on top of your game at work, you feel like you need to put in long hours. The flipside to this is that of course when you are at the office, you are away from home – away from family dinners, play time and your kids’ sporting events or school plays. You may feel like your hands are tied – that no matter how much you want to be more involved with your family life, you have to keep working as hard as ever to make sure your family is provided for in the long run. The truth is, however, that you may be doing yourself a disservice on both fronts. Studies have shown time and again that well rested workers with well balanced lives are more productive in the time they do spend working. In the end, the best way to be a stand out worker at the office is to be fully involved and present in your family live. But wait, you say, “I’m working practically around the clock now, and everything still isn’t getting done.” However, maybe the problem isn’t that you aren’t working hard enough. Maybe the problem instead is that you aren’t working smart enough. Think about the way you spend you working day. Are you taking on more responsibility than you need to, instead of delegating tasks to others? Are you spending a lot of time chatting in the break room when you run for a cup of coffee? Are you procrastinating so that big projects require you to work all-nighters instead of spreading out the work? Keep a journal of all of your activities at work for a few days. You might be surprised to see how you are really spending your time and in what areas you could make improvements. Simply staying on task and delegating effectively could get you home in time for dinner. When you have done everything you can to make your work habits as productive as possible, it is time to turn to other ways to balance your work life and your family life. Rule number one is the hardest one for most people to follow you – draw clear lines of distinction between work time and family time. Family time isn’t really family time if you are constantly on your cell phone making and receiving work calls or if you are on your laptop for the entire family vacation. When you’re working – work. When you’re with your family – concentrate on them. The time you spend actually taking a breather from work will recharge your batteries and make you a better worker when work time rolls around again. Next, you have to evaluate your priorities. Maybe working around the clock will help you make partner faster, but at what cost? Decide if seeing your daughter’s soccer game every week is more important to you than moving up the corporate ladder quickly, and make adjustments in your schedule appropriately. There is no right or wrong answer, but deciding where you priorities lie will make scheduling easier for you. With your priorities in mind, see what work options are available to you to help you meet them. If you want more time with the kids, see if your office offers flex time or part time hours to help you meet your family commitments. Last but not least, don’t feel guilty about taking time with your family. Not only is this time important to your family, you can rest assured that the time out from the office stress will make you more productive when you return to work.

International Copyright Law Surprise! There Is No International Copyright Law Many people are surprised to learn that there is no international copyright law. Yes, that is right. There is not an international copyright law that will protect your work on the other side of the world. However, it is important to note that most countries do offer some form of protection to what is deemed as “foreign” works. International conventions and treaties have done much to protect owners of copyrights around the world. With the world seemingly becoming smaller every day the United States took a look at its stance on the European copyright treaty known as the Berne Convention. Basically, the Berne Convention of 1886 involved European nations coming together to seek a uniform copyright law to keep their copyright owners from having to register for copyrights in individuals European countries. The United States signed on to the Berne Convention introduced made it into a U.S. law known as the Berne Implementation Act of 1988. If you are seeking to have your work protected in a particular country you need to find out what kind of protection foreign authors have in that country. Some countries offer little or not protection to foreign authors. It should be noted that the U.S. Copyright Office is not allowed to give authors recommendations or the names of attorneys or agents that could help them understand foreign copyright laws. However, with a little investigation it is not hard to find someone who is an expert on foreign copyright law. These individuals can help you learn more about copyright protection and how your work is deemed in a foreign country. Someone who works in international copyright law will tell you that it is different than most other sectors of law. It involves knowing the copyright law of two or more countries. Every country has their own way of granting and protecting someone’s copyright. The individual criteria of each country must be taken into consideration when you are dealing with international copyright law. It is important to note that some countries do not have any intellectual property rights and some countries even grant more copyright protections than even the United States. International copyright laws involve understanding international treaties and conventions, like the Berne Treaty and WIPO Copyright Treaty listed above. If you are interested in pursuing a degree in law, you may want to explore the international copyright law sector. With the world becoming one big neighborhood, you will probably not lack for work. People that have copyrighted works need to be aware that there are differences in the copyright laws in some nations. While it is true that the United States has signed treaties with some nations, your work will not be protected in every country of the world. As stated, the United States is a member of the Berne treaty. In addition, the United States is a member of the WIPO Copyright Treaty. This treaty works in conjunction with the Berne treaty yet it also covers and gives protection to databases and computer programs. If you would like more information on international copyright law you should check with an attorney who specializes in international copyright law.

Software copyright act The Software Copyright Act was a Great Step in the Right Direction The software copyright act, which is actually called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has given software developers a little more power when it comes to protecting their works. If you've bought software in the last few years I'm sure you've noticed some of the changes that have been made in the software buying process. If not, then you really should wake up and take note. Some of the more noteworthy achievements of this act are the following: 1) It is now a crime to go around anti-piracy measures in software. 2) It is no longer legal to make, sale, or give away software or devices that were invented for the purpose of cracking codes enabling the illegal copying of software. 3) Limits the liability that ISPs (as far as copyright infringement violations) when information is transmitted online. The problem isn't the people want to be bad or do something wrong. Most of us by nature want to do the right thing. The problem lies in educating people to the fact that it really is stealing when you bootleg, pirate, illegally download, or otherwise acquire copies of software that you didn't pay for. It's one of those 'white lie' types of crimes for most people and they don't really see how it will hurt anyone for them to copy a game that their brother, cousin, uncle, or friend has. Someone paid for it after all. The problem is that at $50 plus being the average price for computer games and simple software if 10 million people are doing it, the numbers are staggering and they add up quickly. The software copyright act sought to protect businesses from losing money this way. The software copyright act was the worldwide response to a growing problem. This problem was so widespread with illegal downloading of music that lawsuits and massive commercial ad campaigns were initiated in order to curtail illegal downloading activities when it comes to music. It seems to be working to some degree. Fewer people are illegally downloading music; the downside is that these people aren't buying as much music either. The reason is because they are no longer being exposed to the wide variety of music and artists that they were getting freely when downloading music each night at no cost. This equals lower record sales and is becoming a problem of lower movie sales and software sales as well. People aren't trying new games like they could before the software copyright act by going to LAN parties and everyone sharing a copy to play, now everyone has to own a copy before they can play. While this may be great for the companies that make a few (a minimal few at best) extra sales on the games for the sake of a great party but for the most part, it is costing them the extra money that could be made by 10 people finding they liked the game enough to go out and buy it so they could play it whenever (and the next group of 10 they will introduce the game to) Gamers are a funny group and software copyright act or no, they are going to stick with the software and games that serve them best. The software copyright act was created in order to protect the rights of those writing and developing computer software. We want those who fill our lives with fun games, useful tools, and great ways to connect to friends and family to continue providing these great services and to get paid for the ones they've already provided. The software copyright act is one giant step in the right direction as far as I'm concerned.

Copyright Infringement Statistics Copyright infringement statistics, by most standards are inflated. Most recent copyright infringement statistics cite that almost 30 percent of software is pirated in the United States of America. This means that they think 30 percent of the software on your computer is illegal… they think we’re all thieves, to an extent. However, copyright holders have good reason to worry that we’re violating their rules: the number of suspects referred to the United States attorneys with an Intellectual Property lead charge increased twenty six percent in the period between 2002 and 2004 – and there have been studies that show that this is rising. Copyright infringement statistics are difficult to come by, but it’s plain to see it’s affecting every aspect of intellectual copy. Copyright infringement statistics show that in addition to software privacy, there are a lot of violations in the music world. Copyright infringement statistics show that many unsuspecting people, from college students to thirty-something a professional, download music on a consistent basis, and often it’s not downloaded legally. Often times, someone will download a song off a MySpace or YouTube page, without giving thought to who really owns the copyright and if it’s legal for them to have it. Copyright infringement statistics, brought to us by the music recording industry, would have us believe that online infringement is seriously hurting the recording industry. A sensible person, however, would realize that with the abundance of MP3 sales sites that this will turn quickly and recording giants will see the huge profits available online. It’s already begun, you see, we have yet to see the impact of online music sales, and how it will increase revenue. I’m sure, with the huge talent pool at their disposal, the media giants will find a way to monetize the internet to their fullest advantage. Copyright infringement statistics also show that many people are downloading games off the internet. With the litany of games available to us – from complete alternate worlds such as World of Warcraft to the more mainstream “The Sims” series, people are clamoring for PC games – and for good reason. They’re fun, intelligent games that play on a system everyone has – a computer. Because of this, people are always looking for new games to play and download, and they may download a game without knowing that it’s not ‘freeware’ (as many internet games are). In addition to computer games, copyright infringement statistics also show that movies are downloaded in abundance on the internet. Many peer to peer file distribution sites and programs (such as bit torrent or Kazaa) allow for the transfer of very large files, and they’re easy to find online. Using a tool provided by one of many suppliers, users can search for any item they like – and, of course, the system is abused and people download copyrighted movies and entire DVDs instead of publicly available works. Copyright infringement also branches into written works, such as articles, books, poems, etc. Many times, a student will copy a paragraph or two without realizing the implications of such copying. While they may think of it as ‘borrowing’, if it’s used on a grander scale, the person could be opening themselves up to a large court fight, especially if it’s used commercially. As you can see, copyright infringement statistics show us that many people are using copyrighted works illegally. Do your best diligence when using another’s work – and ask for permission every time you want to use something that you haven’t created. Chances are, if you just ask the question up front you’ll save yourself from becoming another copyright infringement statistic and save yourself from a major lawsuit.