January 2016 Updated January 02, 2016. 5 Things You Need to Know About Copyright Laws It is always better to simply give credit to an author any time you use someone else’s work even if you are not required to. This may not only help protect you legally from being sued for copyright infringement, but it shows that you are a professional that practices good business ethics. 1. The de Minimis Principle and How it Applies to Copyrights The de minimis principle is legal term that describes issues that may seem big to an individual but not necessarily under the law. Essentially, it means “some things are just too small to be bothered with.” This principal applies to many areas of law, including copyrights. Whether or not something is specifically subject to de minimis interpretation, is entirely up to a court of law so it is important to talk to an attorney before heading off to court. 2. Copyrights May Not Protect “Little” Things While it can be said, “the little things in life matter,” this not always true when it comes to copyright laws. Examples of things that may be too small to warrant copyright protections include: Newspaper or magazine headlines; The title of a book, poem, or song; Using small quotes from material that has a copyright (but you still have to give credit to the author; and Minor changes to quoted material, such as correcting a typographical error, would not be a considered a significant copyright infringement.