Copyright

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Copyright

Introduction to Copyright

Copyright, branch of law granting authors the exclusive privilege to reproduce, distribute, perform, or display their creative works. The goal of copyright law is to encourage authors to invest effort in creating new works of art and literature. Copyright is one branch of the larger legal field known as intellectual property, which also includes trademark and patent law. Copyright law is the legal foundation protecting the work of many major industries, including book publishing, motion-picture production, music recording, and computer software development. These industries account for considerable economic activity in the United States, making copyright law a field of enormous economic importance.

Not every work of authorship is eligible for copyright. To qualify for copyright protection, a work must be both fixed and original. The law considers a work to be fixed if it is recorded in some permanent format. Acceptable ways of fixing a work include writing it down, storing it on a computer floppy disk or compact disc (CD), recording it on videotape, or sculpting it in marble. If a poet thinks of a new poem and recites it to an audience without writing it down, copyright does not protect the poem because it is not fixed. To be original, the work must not be copied from previously existing material and must display at least a reasonable amount of creativity. For example, if an author writes the words “the sky is blue” on a piece of paper, copyright does not protect the words because they lack sufficient creativity. Consequently, short phrases and titles are usually not protected by copyright, but in some circumstances they may be protected by trademark law.

Copyright only protects the words, notes, or images that the creator has used. It does not protect any ideas or concepts revealed by the work. If, for example, a scientist publishes an article explaining a new process for refining oil, the copyright prevents others from copying the words of that article. It does not, however, prevent anyone else from using the process described to refine oil. To protect the process, the scientist must obtain a patent. Similarly, if a novelist writes a book about a man obsessed about killing a whale, other people may write their own books on the same subject, as long as they do not use the exact words or a closely similar plot. ” (1)

Copyright Law in the Jurisdictions

LEGAL BASIS

This area covers the following:

The legal system

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The current legislative acts governing copyright and its enforcement

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The current secondary law

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Territorial scope of application

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Important recent amendments in legislation

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Transitional provisions

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Pending legislation

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International conventions to which the country is aparty

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SUBJECT MATTER OF PROTECTION

This area covers the following:

Categories of protected subject matter within the meaning of the Berne Convention

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Other categories of protected subject matter, including audiovisual recordings

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General substantive requirements for protection and irrelevant factors

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Scope of protection

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Works excluded from protection

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Formal requirements

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THE AUTHOR OR OTHER COPYRIGHT OWNER

This area covers the following:

Author of work

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Coauthorship/joint authorship

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Other forms of work inuenced by several persons

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Presumptions of authorship or rst ownership, including work made for hire

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CONTENTS OF PROTECTION

This area covers the following:

Economic rights and secondary infringement, where applicable

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Moral rights

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LIMITATIONS AND EXCEPTIONS; COMPULSORY LICENSES

This area covers the following:

General explanations

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The individual limitations, exceptions, and compulsory licenses

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DURATION OF PROTECTION

This area covers the above in respect of diferent kinds of works. Find out more about the duration of protection, in general, and in respect of diferent kinds of works in this world legal Encyclopedia.

RELATED RIGHTS

This area covers the following:

Subject matter of protection

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Right owners

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Protection for the related-rights owners

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Limitations and exceptions

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Duration of protection

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CONFLICT OF LAW RULES AND STATUS OF FOREIGNERS

This area covers the following:

Applicable procedural law

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Applicable substantive law

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Execution of foreign judgments

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Status of foreigners

Find out more about Status of foreigners in this world legal Encyclopedia, including:

  • Application of international conventions, and
  • Protection of foreign authors and related-right owners other than on the basis of international conventions

RIGHTS MANAGEMENT

This area covers individual and collective rights management.

INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT

This area covers the following:

Transfer of copyright and related rights

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Transfer or assignment of economic rights to the contractual partner

Find out more about Legal presumptions of transfer or assignment of economic rights to the contractual partner in this world legal Encyclopedia.

Statutory rules for matters other than remuneration

Find out more about Statutory rules regarding copyright and related rights contracts for matters other than remuneration in this world legal Encyclopedia.

Rules regarding remuneration for authors and performing artists

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Other provisions or case law

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COLLECTIVE RIGHTS MANAGEMENT

This area covers the following:

General: scope of regulation

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Conditions for collective management organizations (CMOs) to become active

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Regulation of relationship between CMO and right owners

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Regulation of relationship between CMO and professional users

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Procedural provisions on CMOs

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Control/supervision of CMOs

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Cultural and social functions of CMOs

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Existing CMOs

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ENFORCEMENT

Enforcement includes the treatment of Remedies, Procedures, Courts and Judicial Execution.

REMEDIES

Remedies, in this world legal Encyclopedia, includes the following

Civil remedies

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Criminal sanctions

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Administrative sanctions, where applicable

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Circumvention of technical measures and rights-management information

Find out more about Particular remedies in respect of circumvention of technical measures and rights-management information in this world legal Encyclopedia.

AVAILABLE PROCEDURES AND COURTS

This covers the following:

Civil proceedings

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Criminal proceedings

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Administrative proceedings

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JUDICIAL EXECUTION

This covers, among others, the following in this world legal Encyclopedia.

General rules

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Specic rules for copyright and related rights

Find out more about Specic rules for copyright and related rights in this world legal Encyclopedia.

The Legal History of Copyright

This section provides an overview of Copyright
 

The Legal History of Copyright in English Common Law

This section provides an overview of Copyright in English Common Law

Spanish Translation of copyright

This is the legal translation of English to Spanish in relation to copyright and / or a definition of this topic: Derecho de Autor (in Spanish, without translation of the dictionary entry).

Spanish Translation of copyright

This is the legal translation of English to Spanish in relation to copyright and / or a definition of this topic: Copyright (in Spanish, without translation of the dictionary entry).

Copyright in Law Libraries

The follow definition of Copyright is of use in law library research: Copyright laws protect intellectual property from misuse by other individuals. Ideas and information in print or electronic form are the property of the person who created them. You must obtain permission to use copyrighted material. You may use copyrighted materials for educational purposes if you adhere to the fair-use guidelines. For more information refer to the Copyright page.

Copyright and the GATT Policy Negotiations

In relation to the GATT Policy Negotiations, Christopher Mark (1993) provided the following explanation and/or definition of Copyright: The exclusive right of authors, composers, playwrights, artists, publishers, or distributors to publish and dispose of their work for a specified time. Copyright protection varies from country to country , and its enforcement is a major issue in international negotiations concerning intellectual property rights.

In the United States

For information about Copyright in the context of international trade, click here

Copyright and the Laws of International Trade

Gray Market Goods

Copyright in Electronic Commerce

Copyright in the Online Business Law

Copyright in International Trade

Meaning of Copyright, according to the Dictionary of International Trade (Global Negotiator): A set of exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute, and adapt the work. In international business copyrights are transmitted and sold through license agreements.

Copyright

Resources

See Also

  • Legal System
  • Judiciary
  • Justice

Resources

See Also

  • Adaptation right
  • Collective work
  • Common-law copyright
  • Compilation
  • Compulsory license
  • Created
  • Derivative work
  • Descriptive mark
  • Display
  • Fair use doctrine
  • First sale rule
  • Infringement
  • Limited publication
  • Literary property
  • Literary work
  • Work made for hire

Resources

See Also

  • E-Commerce Regulations
  • Online Business Law
  • Online Business Regulations

Resources

Notes and References

See Also

  • Legal Biography
  • Legal Traditions
  • Historical Laws
  • History of Law

Further Reading

Guide to Copyright

In this Section

Copyright, Copyright History, Copyright in the Digital Age and International Copyright.

Hierarchical Display of Copyright

Production, Technology And Research > Research and intellectual property > Intellectual property
Education And Communications > Information technology and data processing > Information technology industry > Software > Open source software
Social Questions > Culture and religion > Cultural policy > Literary and artistic property
Law > Rights and freedoms > Rights of the individual > Protection of privacy > Right of personal portrayal
Education And Communications > Information and information processing > Information > Reprography
Education And Communications > Communications > Communications industry > Publishing > Electronic publishing > Open access publishing
Education And Communications > Information technology and data processing > Data processing > Data protection
Education And Communications > Information and information processing > Information policy > Law relating to information
Education And Communications > Communications > Communications policy > Audiovisual communications policy > Audiovisual piracy
Social Questions > Culture and religion > Cultural policy > Cultural exception
Education And Communications > Information technology and data processing > Data-processing law > Computer crime > Computer piracy
Education And Communications > Information technology and data processing > Computer system > Information technology applications > Digital rights management

Copyright

Concept of Copyright

See the dictionary definition of Copyright.

Characteristics of Copyright

Resources

Translation of Copyright

Thesaurus of Copyright

Production, Technology And Research > Research and intellectual property > Intellectual property > Copyright
Education And Communications > Information technology and data processing > Information technology industry > Software > Open source software > Copyright
Social Questions > Culture and religion > Cultural policy > Literary and artistic property > Copyright
Law > Rights and freedoms > Rights of the individual > Protection of privacy > Right of personal portrayal > Copyright
Education And Communications > Information and information processing > Information > Reprography > Copyright
Education And Communications > Communications > Communications industry > Publishing > Electronic publishing > Open access publishing > Copyright
Education And Communications > Information technology and data processing > Data processing > Data protection > Copyright
Education And Communications > Information and information processing > Information policy > Law relating to information > Copyright
Education And Communications > Communications > Communications policy > Audiovisual communications policy > Audiovisual piracy > Copyright
Social Questions > Culture and religion > Cultural policy > Cultural exception > Copyright
Education And Communications > Information technology and data processing > Data-processing law > Computer crime > Computer piracy > Copyright
Education And Communications > Information technology and data processing > Computer system > Information technology applications > Digital rights management > Copyright

See also

  • Accessory right

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