A copyright is a type of
Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property
Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner ...
that gives its owner the exclusive right to copy, distribute, adapt, display, and perform a creative work
, usually for a limited time.
The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, educational, or musical form. Copyright is intended to protect the original expression of an idea in the form of a creative work, but not the idea itself. A copyright is subject to limitations
based on public interest considerations, such as the fair use
doctrine in the United States.
Some jurisdictions require "fixing" copyrighted works in a tangible form. It is often shared among multiple authors, each of whom holds a set of rights to use or license the work, and who are commonly referred to as rights holders. These rights frequently include reproduction, control over derivative work
s, distribution, public performance
, and moral rights
such as attribution.
Copyrights can be granted by public law and are in that case considered "territorial rights". This means that copyrights granted by the law of a certain state do not extend beyond the territory of that specific jurisdiction. Copyrights of this type vary by country; many countries, and sometimes a large group of countries, have made agreements with other countries on procedures applicable when works "cross" national borders or national rights are inconsistent.
Typically, the public law duration of a copyright
expires 50 to 100 years after the creator dies, depending on the jurisdiction
. Some countries require certain copyright formalities
to establishing copyright, others recognize copyright in any completed work, without a formal registration. When the copyright of a work expires, it enters the
The public domain (PD) consists of all the creative work to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable. Because those rights have expired ...
The concept of copyright developed after the
A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium (such as paper or cloth), thereby transferring the ink. It marked a dramatic improvement on earlier printing methods in which th ...
came into use in Europe
[ in the 15th and 16th centuries. The printing press made it much cheaper to produce works, but as there was initially no copyright law, anyone could buy or rent a press and print any text. Popular new works were immediately re- set and re-published by competitors, so printers needed a constant stream of new material. Fees paid to authors for new works were high, and significantly supplemented the incomes of many academics.] [
Printing brought profound social changes. The rise in ] literacy
Literacy in its broadest sense describes "particular ways of thinking about and doing reading and writing" with the purpose of understanding or expressing thoughts or ideas in Writing, written form in some specific context of use. In other wo ... across Europe
Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered a Continent#Subcontinents, subcontinent of Eurasia ... led to a dramatic increase in the demand for reading matter. [''Copyright in Historical Perspective'', p. 136-137, Patterson, 1968, Vanderbilt Univ. Press] Prices of reprints were low, so publications could be bought by poorer people, creating a mass audience. [ In German language markets before the advent of copyright, technical materials, like popular fiction, were inexpensive and widely available; it has been suggested this contributed to Germany's industrial and economic success.] [ After copyright law became established (in 1710 in England and Scotland, and in the 1840s in German-speaking areas) the low-price mass market vanished, and fewer, more expensive editions were published; distribution of scientific and technical information was greatly reduced.]
The concept of copyright first developed in
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the Europ .... In reaction to the printing of "scandalous books and pamphlets", the English Parliament passed the Licensing of the Press Act 1662, [ which required all intended publications to be registered with the government-approved Stationers' Company, giving the Stationers the right to regulate what material could be printed.
The Statute of Anne, enacted in 1710 in England and Scotland provided the first legislation to protect copyrights (but not authors' rights). The Copyright Act of 1814 extended more rights for authors but did not protect British from reprinting in the US. The Berne International Copyright Convention of 1886 finally provided protection for authors among the countries who signed the agreement, although the US did not join the Berne Convention until 1989.]
In the US, the Constitution grants Congress the right to establish copyright and patent laws. Shortly after the Constitution was passed, Congress enacted the Copyright Act of 1790, modeling it after the Statute of Anne. While the national law protected authors’ published works, authority was granted to the states to protect authors’ unpublished works. The most recent major overhaul of copyright in the US, the 1976 Copyright Act, extended federal copyright to works as soon as they are created and "fixed", without requiring publication or registration. State law continues to apply to unpublished works that are not otherwise copyrighted by federal law. This act also changed the calculation of copyright term from a fixed term (then a maximum of fifty-six years) to "life of the author plus 50 years". These changes brought the US closer to conformity with the Berne Convention, and in 1989 the United States further revised its copyright law and joined the Berne Convention officially.
Copyright laws allow products of creative human activities, such as literary and artistic production, to be preferentially exploited and thus incentivized. Different cultural attitudes, social organizations, economic models and legal frameworks are seen to account for why copyright emerged in Europe and not, for example, in Asia. In the Middle Ages
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire ... in Europe, there was generally a lack of any concept of literary property due to the general relations of production, the specific organization of literary production and the role of culture in society. The latter refers to the tendency of oral societies, such as that of Europe in the medieval period, to view knowledge as the product and expression of the collective, rather than to see it as individual property. However, with copyright laws, intellectual production comes to be seen as a product of an individual, with attendant rights. The most significant point is that patent and copyright laws support the expansion of the range of creative human activities that can be commodified. This parallels the ways in which capitalism led to the commodification of many aspects of social life that earlier had no monetary or economic value per se.
Copyright has developed into a concept that has a significant effect on nearly every modern industry, including not just literary work, but also forms of creative work such as sound recordings, film
A film also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, picture, photoplay or (slang) flick is a work of visual art that simulates experiences and otherwise communicates ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmospher ...s, photograph
A photograph (also known as a photo, image, or picture) is an image created by light falling on a photosensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic image sensor, such as a CCD or a CMOS chip. Most photographs are now cre ...s, software
Software is a set of computer programs and associated documentation and data. This is in contrast to hardware, from which the system is built and which actually performs the work.
At the lowest programming level, executable code consis ..., and architecture
Architecture is the art and technique of designing and building, as distinguished from the skills associated with construction. It is both the process and the product of sketching, conceiving, planning, designing, and constructing building ....
Often seen as the first real copyright law, the 1709 British Statute of Anne gave the publishers rights for a fixed period, after which the copyright expired.
The act also alluded to individual rights of the artist. It began, "Whereas Printers, Booksellers, and other Persons, have of late frequently taken the Liberty of Printing ... Books, and other Writings, without the Consent of the Authors ... to their very great Detriment, and too often to the Ruin of them and their Families:". A right to benefit financially from the work is articulated, and court rulings and legislation have recognized a right to control the work, such as ensuring that the integrity of it is preserved. An irrevocable right to be recognized as the work's creator appears in some countries' copyright laws.
The Copyright Clause of the United States, Constitution (1787) authorized copyright legislation: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." That is, by guaranteeing them a period of time in which they alone could profit from their works, they would be enabled and encouraged to invest the time required to create them, and this would be good for society as a whole. A right to profit from the work has been the philosophical underpinning for much legislation extending the duration of copyright, to the life of the creator and beyond, to their heirs.
The original length of copyright in the United States was 14 years, and it had to be explicitly applied for. If the author wished, they could apply for a second 14‑year monopoly grant, but after that the work entered the public domain
The public domain (PD) consists of all the creative work to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable. Because those rights have expired ..., so it could be used and built upon by others.
Copyright law was enacted rather late in German states, and the historian Eckhard Höffner argues that the absence of copyright laws in the early 19th century encouraged publishing, was profitable for authors, led to a proliferation of books, enhanced knowledge, and was ultimately an important factor in the ascendency of Germany as a power during that century. However, empirical evidence derived from the exogenous differential introduction of copyright in Napoleonic Italy shows that "basic copyrights increased both the number and the quality of operas, measured by their popularity and durability".
International copyright treaties
The 1886 Berne Convention first established recognition of copyrights among sovereign nations, rather than merely bilaterally. Under the Berne Convention, copyrights for creative works do not have to be asserted or declared, as they are automatically in force at creation: an author need not "register" or "apply for" a copyright in countries adhering to the Berne Convention.
As soon as a work is "fixed", that is, written or recorded on some physical medium, its author is automatically entitled to all copyrights in the work, and to any derivative works unless and until the author explicitly disclaims them, or until the copyright expires. The Berne Convention also resulted in foreign authors being treated equivalently to domestic authors, in any country signed onto the Convention. The UK signed the Berne Convention in 1887 but did not implement large parts of it until 100 years later with the passage of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Specially, for educational and scientific research purposes, the Berne Convention provides the developing countries issue compulsory licenses for the translation or reproduction of copyrighted works within the limits prescribed by the Convention. This was a special provision that had been added at the time of 1971 revision of the Convention, because of the strong demands of the developing countries. The United States did not sign the Berne Convention until 1989.
The United States and most Latin America
Latin America or
* french: Amérique Latine, link=no
* ht, Amerik Latin, link=no
* pt, América Latina, link=no, name=a, sometimes referred to as LatAm is a large cultural region in the Americas where Romance languages — languages derived ...n countries instead entered into the Buenos Aires Convention in 1910, which required a copyright notice on the work (such as '' all rights reserved''), and permitted signatory nations to limit the duration of copyrights to shorter and renewable terms. The Universal Copyright Convention was drafted in 1952 as another less demanding alternative to the Berne Convention, and ratified by nations such as the Soviet Union
The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, it was nominally a federal union of fifteen nati ... and developing nations.
The regulations of the Berne Convention are incorporated into the World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization that regulates and facilitates international trade. With effective cooperation
in the United Nations System, governments use the organization to establish, revise, an ...'s TRIPS agreement (1995), thus giving the Berne Convention effectively near-global application.
In 1961, the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property signed the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations. In 1996, this organization was succeeded by the founding of the World Intellectual Property Organization, which launched the 1996 WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty and the 2002 WIPO Copyright Treaty, which enacted greater restrictions on the use of technology to copy works in the nations that ratified it. The Trans-Pacific Partnership includes intellectual Property Provisions relating to copyright.
Copyright laws are standardized somewhat through these international conventions such as the Berne Convention and Universal Copyright Convention. These multilateral treaties have been ratified by nearly all countries, and international organizations such as the European Union
The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe
Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its gre ... or World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization that regulates and facilitates international trade. With effective cooperation
in the United Nations System, governments use the organization to establish, revise, an ... require their member states to comply with them.
The original holder of the copyright may be the employer of the author rather than the author themself if the work is a "
work for hire
A work made for hire (work for hire or WFH), in copyright law in the United States, is a work that is subject to copyright and is created by employees as part of their job or some limited types of works for which all parties agree in writing to th ...". For example, in English law
English law is the common law
In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The co ... the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 provides that if a copyrighted work is made by an employee in the course of that employment, the copyright is automatically owned by the employer which would be a "Work for Hire". Typically, the first owner of a copyright is the person who created the work i.e. the author
An author is the writer of a book, article, play, mostly written work. A broader definition of the word "author" states:
"''An author is "the person who originated or gave existence to anything" and whose authorship determines responsibility f .... But when more than one person creates the work, then a case of joint authorship Joint authorship of a copyrightable work is when two or more persons contribute enough to the work to be the author of that work. In the case of joint authorship, the authors share the copyright in the work with each other.
International convent ... can be made provided some criteria are met.
Copyright may apply to a wide range of creative, intellectual, or artistic forms, or "works". Specifics vary by
Jurisdiction (from Latin 'law' + 'declaration') is the legal term for the legal authority granted to a legal entity to enact justice. In federations like the United States, areas of jurisdiction apply to local, state, and federal levels.
J ..., but these can include poem
Poetry (derived from the Greek '' poiesis'', "making"), also called verse, is a form of literature
Literature is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art f ...s, theses, fictional characters, plays and other literary works, motion pictures, choreography, music
Music is generally defined as the art of arranging sound to create some combination of form, harmony, melody, rhythm or otherwise expressive content. Exact definitions of music vary considerably around the world, though it is an a ...al compositions, sound recordings, painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface (called the "matrix" or "support"). The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and ai ...s, drawing
Drawing is a form of Visual arts, visual art in which an artist uses instruments to mark paper or other two-dimensional surface. Drawing instruments include graphite pencils, pen and ink, various kinds of paints, inked brushes, colored pencils, ...s, sculpture
Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts
The visual arts are art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, photography, video, filmmaking, design, crafts and architecture. Many artistic disciplin ...s, photographs, computer software
Software is a set of computer program
A computer program is a sequence or set of instructions in a programming language
A programming language is a system of notation for writing computer programs. Most programming languages are text ..., radio
Radio is the technology of signaling and communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency
Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit of time. It is also occasionally referre ... and television
Television, sometimes shortened to TV, is a telecommunication medium for transmitting moving images and sound. The term can refer to a television set, or the medium of television transmission. Television is a mass medium for advertisin ... broadcasts, and industrial design
Industrial design is a process of design applied to physical products that are to be manufactured by mass production. It is the creative act of determining and defining a product's form and features, which takes place in advance of the manufac ...s. Graphic designs and industrial designs may have separate or overlapping laws applied to them in some jurisdictions. [
Praeger is part of the Greenwood Publishing Group. Hardcover. Possible alternative ISBN 978-0-275-98883-8.
Copyright does not cover ideas and information themselves, only the form or manner in which they are expressed. For example, the copyright to a Mickey Mouse cartoon restricts others from making copies of the cartoon or creating derivative works based on Disney's particular anthropomorphic mouse, but does not prohibit the creation of other works about anthropomorphic mice in general, so long as they are different enough to not be judged copies of Disney's. Note additionally that Mickey Mouse is not copyrighted because characters cannot be copyrighted; rather, '' Steamboat Willie'' is copyrighted and Mickey Mouse, as a character in that copyrighted work, is afforded protection.
Typically, a work must meet minimal standards of originality in order to qualify for copyright, and the copyright expires after a set period of time (some jurisdictions may allow this to be extended). Different countries impose different tests, although generally the requirements are low; in the
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ... there has to be some "skill, labour, and judgment" that has gone into it. In Australia
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country b ... and the United Kingdom it has been held that a single word is insufficient to comprise a copyright work. However, single words or a short string of words can sometimes be registered as a trademark instead.
Copyright law recognizes the right of an author based on whether the work actually is an original creation, rather than based on whether it is unique; two authors may own copyright on two substantially identical works, if it is determined that the duplication was coincidental, and neither was copied from the other.
In all countries where the Berne Convention standards apply, copyright is automatic, and need not be obtained through official registration with any government office. Once an idea has been reduced to tangible form, for example by securing it in a fixed medium (such as a drawing, sheet music, photograph, a videotape, or a computer file), the copyright holder is entitled to enforce their exclusive rights.
However, while registration is not needed to exercise copyright, in jurisdictions where the laws provide for registration, it serves as '' prima facie'' evidence of a valid copyright and enables the copyright holder to seek statutory damages and attorney's fees. (In the US, registering after an infringement only enables one to receive actual damages and lost profits.)
A widely circulated strategy to avoid the cost of copyright registration is referred to as the poor man's copyright. It proposes that the creator send the work to themself in a sealed envelope by registered mail, using the postmark to establish the date. This technique has not been recognized in any published opinions of the United States courts. The United States Copyright Office
The United States Copyright Office (USCO), a part of the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research
Research is " creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge
Know ... says the technique is not a substitute for actual registration. The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office discusses the technique and notes that the technique (as well as commercial registries) does not constitute dispositive proof that the work is original or establish who created the work.
The Berne Convention allows member countries to decide whether creative works must be "fixed" to enjoy copyright. Article 2, Section 2 of the Berne Convention states: "It shall be a matter for legislation in the countries of the Union to prescribe that works in general or any specified categories of works shall not be protected unless they have been fixed in some material form." Some countries do not require that a work be produced in a particular form to obtain copyright protection. For instance, Spain, France, and Australia do not require fixation for copyright protection. The United States and Canada, on the other hand, require that most works must be "fixed in a tangible medium of expression" to obtain copyright protection.
[See Harvard Law School] US law requires that the fixation be stable and permanent enough to be "perceived, reproduced or communicated for a period of more than transitory duration". Similarly, Canadian courts consider fixation to require that the work be "expressed to some extent at least in some material form, capable of identification and having a more or less permanent endurance".
''Module 3: The Scope of Copyright Law''
See also Tyler T. Ochoa
''Copyright, Derivative Works and Fixation: Is Galoob a Mirage, or Does the Form(GEN) of the Alleged Derivative Work Matter?''
20 L.J. 991, 999–1002 (2003) ("Thus, both the text of the Act and its legislative history demonstrate that Congress intended that a derivative work does not need to be fixed in order to infringe."). The legislative history of the 1976 Copyright Act says this difference was intended to address transitory works such as ballets, pantomimes, improvised performances, dumb shows, mime performances, and dancing.
Note this provision of US law: ''c) Effect of Berne Convention.—No right or interest in a work eligible for protection under this title may be claimed by virtue of, or in reliance upon, the provisions of the Berne Convention, or the adherence of the United States thereto. Any rights in a work eligible for protection under this title that derive from this title, other Federal or State statutes, or the common law, shall not be expanded or reduced by virtue of, or in reliance upon, the provisions of the Berne Convention, or the adherence of the United States thereto.''
Before 1989, United States law required the use of a copyright notice, consisting of the copyright symbol (©, the letter C inside a circle), the abbreviation "Copr.", or the word "Copyright", followed by the year of the first publication of the work and the name of the copyright holder. Several years may be noted if the work has gone through substantial revisions. The proper copyright notice for sound recordings of musical or other audio works is a sound recording copyright symbol (℗, the letter P inside a circle), which indicates a sound recording copyright, with the letter P indicating a " phonorecord". In addition, the phrase '' All rights reserved'' was once required to assert copyright, but that phrase is now legally obsolete. Almost everything on the Internet has some sort of copyright attached to it. Whether these things are watermarked, signed, or have any other sort of indication of the copyright is a different story however.
In 1989 the United States enacted the Berne Convention Implementation Act, amending the 1976 Copyright Act to conform to most of the provisions of the Berne Convention. As a result, the use of copyright notices has become optional to claim copyright, because the Berne Convention makes copyright automatic. However, the lack of notice of copyright using these marks may have consequences in terms of reduced damages in an infringement lawsuit – using notices of this form may reduce the likelihood of a defense of "innocent infringement" being successful.
Copyrights are generally enforced by the holder in a civil law court, but there are also criminal infringement statutes in some jurisdictions. While central registries are kept in some countries which aid in proving claims of ownership, registering does not necessarily prove ownership, nor does the fact of copying (even without permission) necessarily prove that copyright was infringed. Criminal sanctions are generally aimed at serious counterfeiting activity, but are now becoming more commonplace as copyright collectives such as the
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade organization that represents the music recording industry in the United States
The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or U ... are increasingly targeting the file sharing
File sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to digital media
Digital media is any communication media that operate in conjunction with various encoded machine-readable data formats. Digital media can be created, viewed, ... home Internet user. Thus far, however, most such cases against file sharers have been settled out of court. (''See Legal aspects of file sharing'')
In most jurisdictions the copyright holder must bear the cost of enforcing copyright. This will usually involve engaging legal representation, administrative or court costs. In light of this, many copyright disputes are settled by a direct approach to the infringing party in order to settle the dispute out of court.
"...by 1978, the scope was expanded to apply to any 'expression' that has been 'fixed' in any medium, this protection granted automatically whether the maker wants it or not, no registration required."
For a work to be considered to infringe upon copyright, its use must have occurred in a nation that has domestic copyright laws or adheres to a bilateral treaty or established international convention such as the Berne Convention or WIPO Copyright Treaty. Improper use of materials outside of legislation is deemed "unauthorized edition", not copyright infringement.
Statistics regarding the effects of copyright infringement are difficult to determine. Studies have attempted to determine whether there is a monetary loss for industries affected by copyright infringement by predicting what portion of pirated works would have been formally purchased if they had not been freely available. Other reports indicate that copyright infringement does not have an adverse effect on the entertainment industry, and can have a positive effect. In particular, a 2014 university study concluded that free music content, accessed on
YouTube is a global online video sharing and social media platform headquartered in San Bruno, California. It was launched on February 14, 2005, by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim. It is owned by Google, and is the second mo ..., does not necessarily hurt sales, instead has the potential to increase sales.
According to the IP Commission Report the annual cost of intellectual property theft to the US economy "continues to exceed $225 billion in counterfeit goods, pirated software, and theft of trade secrets and could be as high as $600 billion." A 2019 study sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC), in partnership with NERA Economic Consulting "estimates that global online piracy costs the U.S. economy at least $29.2 billion in lost revenue each year." An August 2021 report by the Digital Citizens Alliance states that "online criminals who offer stolen movies, TV shows, games, and live events through websites and apps are reaping $1.34 billion in annual advertising revenues." This comes as a result of users visiting pirate websites who are then subjected to pirated content, malware, and fraud.
According to World Intellectual Property Organisation, copyright protects two types of rights. Economic rights allow right owners to derive financial reward from the use of their works by others. Moral rights allow authors and creators to take certain actions to preserve and protect their link with their work. The author or creator may be the owner of the economic rights or those rights may be transferred to one or more copyright owners. Many countries do not allow the transfer of moral rights.
With any kind of property, its owner may decide how it is to be used, and others can use it lawfully only if they have the owner's permission, often through a license. The owner's use of the property must, however, respect the legally recognised rights and interests of other members of society. So the owner of a copyright-protected work may decide how to use the work, and may prevent others from using it without permission. National laws usually grant copyright owners exclusive rights to allow third parties to use their works, subject to the legally recognised rights and interests of others.
Most copyright laws state that authors or other right owners have the right to authorise or prevent certain acts in relation to a work. Right owners can authorise or prohibit:
* reproduction of the work in various forms, such as printed publications or sound recordings;
* distribution of copies of the work;
* public performance of the work;
* broadcasting or other communication of the work to the public;
* translation of the work into other languages; and
* adaptation of the work, such as turning a novel into a screenplay.
Moral rights are concerned with the non-economic rights of a creator. They protect the creator's connection with a work as well as the integrity of the work. Moral rights are only accorded to individual authors and in many national laws they remain with the authors even after the authors have transferred their economic rights. In some EU countries, such as France, moral rights last indefinitely. In the UK, however, moral rights are finite. That is, the right of attribution and the right of integrity last only as long as the work is in copyright. When the copyright term comes to an end, so too do the moral rights in that work. This is just one reason why the moral rights regime within the UK is often regarded as weaker or inferior to the protection of moral rights in continental Europe and elsewhere in the world.
The Berne Convention, in Article 6bis, requires its members to grant authors the following rights:
# the right to claim authorship of a work (sometimes called the right of paternity or the right of attribution); and
# the right to object to any distortion or modification of a work, or other derogatory action in relation to a work, which would be prejudicial to the author's honour or reputation (sometimes called the right of integrity).
These and other similar rights granted in national laws are generally known as the moral rights of authors. The Berne Convention requires these rights to be independent of authors’ economic rights. Moral rights are only accorded to individual authors and in many national laws they remain with the authors even after the authors have transferred their economic rights. This means that even where, for example, a film producer or publisher owns the economic rights in a work, in many jurisdictions the individual author continues to have moral rights. Recently, as a part of the debates being held at the US Copyright Office on the question of inclusion of Moral Rights as a part of the framework of the Copyright Law in United States, the Copyright Office concluded that many diverse aspects of the current moral rights patchwork – including copyright law's derivative work right, state moral rights statutes, and contract law – are generally working well and should not be changed. Further, the Office concludes that there is no need for the creation of a blanket moral rights statute at this time. However, there are aspects of the US moral rights patchwork that could be improved to the benefit of individual authors and the copyright system as a whole.
The Copyright Law in the United States, several exclusive rights are granted to the holder of a copyright, as are listed below:
* protection of the work;
* to determine and decide how, and under what conditions, the work may be marketed, publicly displayed, reproduced, distributed, etc.
* to produce copies or reproductions of the work and to sell those copies; (including, typically, electronic copies)
* to import or export the work;
* to create derivative works; (works that adapt the original work)
* to perform or display the work publicly;
* to sell or cede these rights to others;
* to transmit or display by radio, video or internet.
The basic right when a work is protected by copyright is that the holder may determine and decide how and under what conditions the protected work may be used by others. This includes the right to decide to distribute the work for free. This part of copyright is often overseen. The phrase "exclusive right" means that only the copyright holder is free to exercise those rights, and others are prohibited from using the work without the holder's permission. Copyright is sometimes called a "negative right", as it serves to prohibit certain people (e.g., readers, viewers, or listeners, and primarily publishers and would be publishers) from doing something they would otherwise be able to do, rather than permitting people (e.g., authors) to do something they would otherwise be unable to do. In this way it is similar to the unregistered design right in English law
English law is the common law
In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The co ... and European law. The rights of the copyright holder also permit him/her to not use or exploit their copyright, for some or all of the term. There is, however, a critique which rejects this assertion as being based on a philosophical interpretation of copyright law that is not universally shared. There is also debate on whether copyright should be considered a property right or a moral right.
UK copyright law gives creators both economic rights and moral rights. While ‘copying’ someone else's work without permission may constitute an infringement of their economic rights, that is, the reproduction right or the right of communication to the public, whereas, ‘mutilating’ it might infringe the creator's moral rights. In the UK, moral rights include the right to be identified as the author of the work, which is generally identified as the right of attribution, and the right not to have your work subjected to ‘derogatory treatment’, that is the right of integrity.
Indian copyright law is at parity with the international standards as contained in TRIPS. The Indian Copyright Act, 1957, pursuant to the amendments in 1999, 2002 and 2012, fully reflects the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyrights Convention, to which India is a party. India is also a party to the Geneva Convention for the Protection of Rights of Producers of Phonograms and is an active member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Indian system provides both the economic and moral rights under different provisions of its Indian Copyright Act of 1957.
Copyright subsists for a variety of lengths in different jurisdictions. The length of the term can depend on several factors, including the type of work (e.g. musical composition, novel), whether the work has been published, and whether the work was created by an individual or a corporation. In most of the world, the default length of copyright is the life of the author plus either 50 or 70 years. In the United States, the term for most existing works is a fixed number of years after the date of creation or publication. Under most countries' laws (for example, the United States and the United Kingdom), copyrights expire at the end of the calendar year in which they would otherwise expire.
The length and requirements for copyright duration are subject to change by legislation, and since the early 20th century there have been a number of adjustments made in various countries, which can make determining the duration of a given copyright somewhat difficult. For example, the United States used to require copyrights to be renewed after 28 years to stay in force, and formerly required a copyright notice upon first publication to gain coverage. In Italy and France, there were post-wartime extensions that could increase the term by approximately 6 years in Italy and up to about 14 in France. Many countries have extended the length of their copyright terms (sometimes retroactively). International treaties establish minimum terms for copyrights, but individual countries may enforce longer terms than those.
In the United States, all books and other works, except for sound recordings, published before 1926 have expired copyrights and are in the public domain. The applicable date for sound recordings in the United States is before 1923. In addition, works published before 1964 that did not have their copyrights renewed 28 years after first publication year also are in the public domain. Hirtle points out that the great majority of these works (including 93% of the books) were not renewed after 28 years and are in the public domain. Books originally published outside the US by non-Americans are exempt from this renewal requirement, if they are still under copyright in their home country.
But if the intended exploitation of the work includes publication (or distribution of derivative work, such as a film based on a book protected by copyright) outside the US, the terms of copyright around the world must be considered. If the author has been dead more than 70 years, the work is in the public domain in most, but not all, countries.
In 1998, the length of a copyright in the United States was increased by 20 years under the Copyright Term Extension Act. This legislation was strongly promoted by corporations which had valuable copyrights which otherwise would have expired, and has been the subject of substantial criticism on this point.
Limitations and exceptions
In many jurisdictions, copyright law makes exceptions to these restrictions when the work is copied for the purpose of commentary or other related uses. United States copyright law does not cover names, titles, short phrases or listings (such as ingredients, recipes, labels, or formulas). However, there are protections available for those areas copyright does not cover, such as trademarks and
A patent is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of time in exchange for publishing an enabling disclosure of the invention."A ...s.
Idea–expression dichotomy and the merger doctrine
The idea–expression divide differentiates between ideas and expression, and states that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, and not the ideas themselves. This principle, first clarified in the 1879 case of '' Baker v. Selden'', has since been codified by the Copyright Act of 1976 at 17 U.S.C. § 102(b).
The first-sale doctrine and exhaustion of rights
Copyright law does not restrict the owner of a copy from reselling legitimately obtained copies of copyrighted works, provided that those copies were originally produced by or with the permission of the copyright holder. It is therefore legal, for example, to resell a copyrighted book or CD. In the United States this is known as the first-sale doctrine, and was established by the
A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in ac ...s to clarify the legality of reselling books in second-hand bookstores.
Some countries may have parallel importation restrictions that allow the copyright holder to control the aftermarket. This may mean for example that a copy of a book that does not infringe copyright in the country where it was printed does infringe copyright in a country into which it is imported for retailing. The first-sale doctrine is known as exhaustion of rights in other countries and is a principle which also applies, though somewhat differently, to patent
A patent is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of time in exchange for publishing an enabling disclosure of the invention."A ... and trademark rights. It is important to note that the first-sale doctrine permits the transfer of the particular legitimate copy involved. It does not permit making or distributing additional copies.
In '' Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.'', in 2013, the United States Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all U.S. federal court cases, and over state court cases that involve a point ... held in a 6–3 decision that the first-sale doctrine applies to goods manufactured abroad with the copyright owner's permission and then imported into the US without such permission. The case involved a plaintiff who imported Asian editions of textbooks that had been manufactured abroad with the publisher-plaintiff's permission. The defendant, without permission from the publisher, imported the textbooks and resold on eBay
eBay Inc. ( ) is an American multinational e-commerce company based in San Jose, California
San Jose, officially San José (; ; ), is a major city in the U.S. state of California that is the cultural, financial, and political center o .... The Supreme Court's holding severely limits the ability of copyright holders to prevent such importation.
In addition, copyright, in most cases, does not prohibit one from acts such as modifying, defacing, or destroying one's own legitimately obtained copy of a copyrighted work, so long as duplication is not involved. However, in countries that implement moral rights, a copyright holder can in some cases successfully prevent the mutilation or destruction of a work that is publicly visible.
Fair use and fair dealing
Copyright does not prohibit all copying or replication. In the United States, the fair use doctrine, codified by the Copyright Act of 1976 as 17 U.S.C. Section 107, permits some copying and distribution without permission of the copyright holder or payment to same. The statute does not clearly define fair use, but instead gives four non-exclusive factors to consider in a fair use analysis. Those factors are:
# the purpose and character of one's use;
# the nature of the copyrighted work;
# what amount and proportion of the whole work was taken;
# the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ... and many other Commonwealth countries, a similar notion of fair dealing was established by the court
A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in ac ...s or through legislation. The concept is sometimes not well defined; however in Canada
Canada is a country in North America
North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic O ..., private copying for personal use has been expressly permitted by statute since 1999. In '' Alberta (Education) v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright)'', 2012 SCC 37, the Supreme Court of Canada concluded that limited copying for educational purposes could also be justified under the fair dealing exemption. In Australia, the fair dealing exceptions under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) are a limited set of circumstances under which copyrighted material can be legally copied or adapted without the copyright holder's consent. Fair dealing uses are research and study; review and critique; news reportage and the giving of professional advice (i.e. legal advice). Under current Australian law, although it is still a breach of copyright to copy, reproduce or adapt copyright material for personal or private use without permission from the copyright owner, owners of a legitimate copy are permitted to "format shift" that work from one medium to another for personal, private use, or to "time shift" a broadcast work for later, once and only once, viewing or listening. Other technical exemptions from infringement may also apply, such as the temporary reproduction of a work in machine readable form for a computer.
In the United States the AHRA ( Audio Home Recording Act Codified in Section 10, 1992) prohibits action against consumers making noncommercial recordings of music, in return for royalties on both media and devices plus mandatory copy-control mechanisms on recorders.
Later acts amended US Copyright law so that for certain purposes making 10 copies or more is construed to be commercial, but there is no general rule permitting such copying. Indeed, making one complete copy of a work, or in many cases using a portion of it, for commercial purposes will not be considered fair use. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits the manufacture, importation, or distribution of devices whose intended use, or only significant commercial use, is to bypass an access or copy control put in place by a copyright owner. An appellate court has held that fair use is not a defense to engaging in such distribution.
EU copyright laws recognise the right of EU member states to implement some national exceptions to copyright. Examples of those exceptions are:
* photographic reproductions on paper or any similar medium of works (excluding sheet music) provided that the rightholders receives fair compensation;
* reproduction made by libraries, educational establishments, museums or archives, which are non-commercial;
* archival reproductions of broadcasts;
* uses for the benefit of people with a disability;
* for demonstration or repair of equipment;
* for non-commercial research or private study;
* when used in parody
A parody, also known as a spoof, a satire, a send-up, a take-off, a lampoon, a play on (something), or a caricature, is a creative work designed to imitate, comment on, and/or mock its subject by means of satiric or ironic imitation. Often its s ....
It is legal in several countries including the United Kingdom and the United States to produce alternative versions (for example, in large print or braille) of a copyrighted work to provide improved access to a work for blind and visually impaired people without permission from the copyright holder.
Religious Service Exemption
In the US there is a Religious Service Exemption (1976 law, section 110 , namely "performance of a non-dramatic literary or musical work or of a dramatico-musical work of a religious nature or display of a work, in the course of services at a place of worship or other religious assembly" shall not constitute infringement of copyright.
Transfer, assignment and licensing
A copyright, or aspects of it (e.g. reproduction alone, all but moral rights), may be assigned or transferred from one party to another.
For example, a musician who records an album will often sign an agreement with a record company in which the musician agrees to transfer all copyright in the recordings in exchange for royalties and other considerations. The creator (and original copyright holder) benefits, or expects to, from production and marketing capabilities far beyond those of the author. In the digital age of music, music may be copied and distributed at minimal cost through the Internet
The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a '' network of networks'' that consists of private, p ...; however, the record industry attempts to provide promotion and marketing for the artist and their work so it can reach a much larger audience. A copyright holder need not transfer all rights completely, though many publishers will insist. Some of the rights may be transferred, or else the copyright holder may grant another party a non-exclusive license to copy or distribute the work in a particular region or for a specified period of time.
A transfer or licence may have to meet particular formal requirements in order to be effective, for example under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 the copyright itself must be expressly transferred in writing. Under the US Copyright Act, a transfer of ownership in copyright must be memorialized in a writing signed by the transferor. For that purpose, ownership in copyright includes exclusive licenses of rights. Thus exclusive licenses, to be effective, must be granted in a written instrument signed by the grantor. No special form of transfer or grant is required. A simple document that identifies the work involved and the rights being granted is sufficient. Non-exclusive grants (often called non-exclusive licenses) need not be in writing under US law. They can be oral or even implied by the behavior of the parties. Transfers of copyright ownership, including exclusive licenses, may and should be recorded in the U.S. Copyright Office. (Information on recording transfers is available on the Office's web site.) While recording is not required to make the grant effective, it offers important benefits, much like those obtained by recording a deed in a real estate
Real estate is property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this (also) an item of real property, (more genera ... transaction.
Copyright may also be license
A license (or licence) is an official permission or permit to do, use, or own something (as well as the document of that permission or permit).
A license is granted by a party (licensor) to another party (licensee) as an element of an agreeme ...d. Some jurisdictions may provide that certain classes of copyrighted works be made available under a prescribed statutory license (e.g. musical works in the United States used for radio broadcast or performance). This is also called a compulsory license, because under this scheme, anyone who wishes to copy a covered work does not need the permission of the copyright holder, but instead merely files the proper notice and pays a set fee established by statute (or by an agency decision under statutory guidance) for every copy made. Failure to follow the proper procedures would place the copier at risk of an infringement suit. Because of the difficulty of following every individual work, copyright collectives or collecting societies and performing rights organizations (such as ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC) have been formed to collect royalties for hundreds (thousands and more) works at once. Though this market solution bypasses the statutory license, the availability of the statutory fee still helps dictate the price per work collective rights organizations charge, driving it down to what avoidance of procedural hassle would justify.
Copyright licenses known as ''open'' or free licenses seek to grant several rights to licensees, either for a fee or not. ''Free'' in this context is not as much of a reference to price as it is to freedom. What constitutes free licensing has been characterised in a number of similar definitions, including by order of longevity the Free Software Definition, the Debian Free Software Guidelines, the Open Source Definition and the Definition of Free Cultural Works. Further refinements to these definitions have resulted in categories such as copyleft and permissive. Common examples of free licences are the
GNU General Public License
The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a series of widely used free software licenses that guarantee end users the four freedoms to run, study, share, and modify the software. The license was the first copyleft for genera ..., BSD license
BSD licenses are a family of permissive free software licenses, imposing minimal restrictions on the use and distribution of covered software. This is in contrast to copyleft licenses, which have share-alike requirements. The original BSD l ...s and some Creative Commons licenses.
Founded in 2001 by James Boyle, Lawrence Lessig, and Hal Abelson, the Creative Commons
Creative Commons (CC) is an American non-profit organization and international network devoted to educational access and expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has relea ... (CC) is a non-profit organization which aims to facilitate the legal sharing of creative works. To this end, the organization provides a number of generic copyright license options to the public, gratis. These licenses allow copyright holders to define conditions under which others may use a work and to specify what types of use are acceptable.
Some sources are critical of particular aspects of the copyright system. This is known as a debate over copynorms. Particularly to the background of uploading content to internet platforms and the digital exchange of original work, there is discussion about the copyright aspects of downloading and streaming, the copyright aspects of hyperlinking and framing.
Concerns are often couched in the language of digital rights, digital freedom, database rights, open data or censorship.
Discussions include '' Free Culture'', a 2004 book by Lawrence Lessig. Lessig coined the term permission culture to describe a worst-case system. '' Good Copy Bad Copy'' (documentary) and RiP!: A Remix Manifesto, discuss copyright. Some suggest an alternative compensation system. In Europe consumers are acting up against the raising costs of music, film and books, and as a result Pirate Parties have been created. Some groups reject copyright altogether, taking an anti-copyright stance. The perceived inability to enforce copyright online leads some to advocate ignoring legal statutes when on the web.
Copyright, like other intellectual property rights, is subject to a statutorily determined term. Once the term of a copyright has expired, the formerly copyrighted work enters the public domain and may be used or exploited by anyone without obtaining permission, and normally without payment. However, in paying public domain regimes the user may still have to pay royalties to the state or to an authors' association. Courts in common law countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, have rejected the doctrine of a common law copyright. Public domain works should not be confused with works that are publicly available. Works posted in the
The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a '' network of networks'' that consists of private, p ..., for example, are publicly available, but are not generally in the public domain. Copying such works may therefore violate the author's copyright.
* Adelphi Charter
* Artificial scarcity
* Authors' rights and related rights, roughly equivalent concepts in civil law countries
* Conflict of laws
* Copyright abolition
* Copyright Alliance
* Copyright alternatives
* Copyright for Creativity
* Copyright in architecture in the United States
* Copyright on the content of patents and in the context of patent prosecution
* Criticism of copyright
* Criticism of intellectual property
* Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (European Union)
* Copyright infringement
* Copyright on religious works
* Copyright Remedy Clarification Act (CRCA)
Digital rights management
Digital rights management (DRM) is the management of legal access to digital content. Various tools or technological protection measures (TPM) such as access control technologies can restrict the use of proprietary hardware and copyrighted wor ...
* Digital watermarking
A digital watermark is a kind of marker covertly embedded in a noise-tolerant signal such as audio, video or image data. It is typically used to identify ownership of the copyright of such signal. "Watermarking" is the process of hiding digital in ...
* Entertainment law
* Freedom of panorama
* Information literacies
* Intellectual property protection of typefaces
* List of Copyright Acts
* List of copyright case law
* Literary property
* Model release
* Philosophy of copyright
* Photography and the law
* Pirate Party
* Printing patent, a precursor to copyright
* Private copying levy
* Production music
* Reproduction fees
* Software copyright
* Threshold pledge system
* World Book and Copyright Day
* Ellis, Sara R. ''Copyrighting Couture: An Examination of Fashion Design Protection and Why the DPPA and IDPPPA are a Step Towards the Solution to Counterfeit Chic'', 78 Tenn. L. Rev. 163 (2010), ''available at'
Copyrighting Couture: An Examination of Fashion Design Protection and Why the DPPA and IDPPPA are a Step Towards the Solution to Counterfeit Chic
* Ghosemajumder, Shuman.
Advanced Peer-Based Technology Business Models
'. MIT Sloan School of Management, 2002.
* Lehman, Bruce:
Intellectual Property and the National Information Infrastructure
' (Report of the Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights, 1995)
* Lindsey, Marc: ''Copyright Law on Campus.'' Washington State University Press, 2003. .
* Mazzone, Jason. '' Copyfraud''
* McDonagh, Luke. ''Is Creative use of Musical Works without a licence acceptable under Copyright?'' International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law (IIC) 4 (2012) 401–426, available a
* Rife, by Martine Courant. ''Convention, Copyright, and Digital Writing'' (Southern Illinois University Press; 2013) 222 pages; Examines legal, pedagogical, and other aspects of online authorship.
* Shipley, David E.
Thin But Not Anorexic: Copyright Protection for Compilations and Other Fact Works
UGA Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-001; ''Journal of Intellectual Property Law'', Vol. 15, No. 1, 2007.
* Silverthorne, Sean.
Music Downloads: Pirates- or Customers?
'. Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, 2004.
* Sorce Keller, Marcello. "Originality, Authenticity and Copyright", ''Sonus'', VII(2007), no. 2, pp. 77–85.
*Rose, M. (1993), Authors and Owners: The Invention of Copyright, London: Harvard University Press
*Loewenstein, J. (2002), The Author's Due: Printing and the Prehistory of Copyright, London: University of Chicago Press.
* A simplified guide.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO; french: link=no, Organisation mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle (OMPI)) is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN). Pursuant to the 1967 Convention Establish ...; global database of treaties and statutes relating to intellectual property
Copyright Berne Convention: Country List
List of the 164 members of the Berne Convention for the protection of literary and artistic works
Copyright and State Sovereign Immunity
U.S. Copyright Office
The Multi-Billion-Dollar Piracy Industry with Tom Galvin of Digital Citizens Alliance
The Illusion of More Podcast
A Bibliography on the Origins of Copyright and Droit d'Auteur
MIT OpenCourseWare 6.912 Introduction to Copyright Law
Free self-study course with video lectures as offered during the January 2006, Independent Activities Period (IAP)
Copyright Law of the United States Documents
Compendium of Copyright Practices
United States Copyright Office
The United States Copyright Office (USCO), a part of the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research
Research is " creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge
from ''UCB Libraries GovPubs''
Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress
Copyright: Detailed information
at the UK Intellectual Property Office
Fact sheet P-01: UK copyright law
(Issued April 2000, amended 25 November 2020) at the UK Copyright Service
Intellectual property law