Useful Copyright Information

Part 2   Part 1

Useful Copyright Information

 On this and the following two pages you will find useful copyright information. Grouped relatively, but presented in no particular order, are the major elements one needs to research and study in order to gain a capable working knowledge of Copyright Law.

Perpetuating A Cycle

Copyright law protects the expression of creative, or intellectual, effort. By doing so this achieves two vital, interdependent aims, both of equal importance.

Copyright protects the expression of creative effort achieving two vital interdependent aims

One, the general public gain access to knowledge, art, and entertainment.

Two, the creator gets financially compensated for any given effort, enabling him or her to eat, live, and create anew.

And our vital life-blood, the Economy, flows freely.

Road Regulations help to keep drivers focused on intelligent behavior on the roads. In like manner, Intellectual Property Rights Law allow Creators to know what Fellow Creators are doing - or should be doing - in given circumstances.

A good place to start building one's comprehension of Copyright Law is with the realization of Copyright Protection.

 Protection Is Automatic - How Cool

A commonly expressed Intellectual Property Rights Law query is, how are ideas protected?

Wisely, intellectual property rights law does not protect ideas, it protects the expression of an idea. With one exception.

Generally speaking, Copyright Protection is activated the moment an idea is expressed in any Physical Form.

You may jot down a few lines of poetry with a pencil on a table napkin, type a complete novel on your computer keyboard, or use a brush or your feet to paint a captivating self portrait.

Copyright protection is automatically granted to the original creator of a work.

However, these entitlements can be legally transferred or sold to another entity. This function is termed Rights Assignment.

The Medium Used To Express An Idea Is Irrelevant

Copyright protection is all but infinite

Once an idea is physically expressed in an original form, if you are the sole Author, you immediately and exclusively own the Rights to reproduce that particular expression.

To disseminate a Creative Effort, an Author can choose any medium as seen fit. Radio, street busking, television, word of mouth, print, or any other avenue. Digital or otherwise.

Copyright Protection is extended to every form of Creative Effort. Stage performance, literature, artwork, films, sound recordings, house plans, photography, sales copy, software engravings, sketches, song lyrics . . .

Copyright coverage is all but infinite.

If another Human replicates your Original Expression, or a portion thereof, without your permission, that individual is violating your exclusive rights and committing an infringement.

Any infringement entitles a Rights Holder to seek compensation, for any and all loss. Seeking of Compensation involves engaging the assistance of the legal profession. 

Copyright Ownership

The original producer of a creative expression is referred to as the Author.  An Author of a work is usually the recipient of Rights Ownership.

There are exceptions to this rule in particular circumstances, such as an employee creating a work in the course of paid employment. In this case the owner of the rights is the employer.

Other circumstances, such as commissioned works, recording companies and contract artists, movies, and live performances, are less clear cut.

If involved in such circumstances and doubt exists, competent legal advice should be sought.

Copyright Owner Rights

Copyright Owner Rights form two separate categories. These are the Economic Rights and Moral Rights.

Economic Rights can be viewed as exclusive income producing sources, these vary depending on the character of the creative expression. Literary and Artistic works for instance, can have different Economic Rights attached.

Moral Rights include the right of attribution of authorship, and conversely a right not to have authorship falsely attributed.

Whether or not Economic Rights are assigned, The Moral Rights of a Work are retained by the Creator forever.

Assignment Of Copyrights

Copyright can be bought, sold, negotiated, shared, willed, given away, or otherwise treated in the same manner as any personal chattels.

Any circumstances where Copyright ownership is not perfectly clear and where Assignment of copyright is involved, is one of the most pertinent aspects where one should seek sound legal counsel before making decisions.

Where Copyright Law Ends Patent Law Takes Over

All creative effort is protected. Where Copyright Law finishes, Patent Law takes over. With a significant difference.

All creative effort can be protected where copyright law ends patent law takes over

Patents protection includes Inventions and Innovations. And many industrial processes.

Protection extends to Rights Holders, the monopoly, to exploit their conception commercially, for the life of the Patent.

Unlike Copyright, Patent Protection is not automatic.

Applicants must follow a formal procedure, often-times drawn out, meet with stringent requirements, and with no guarantee of securement.

Compared to Copyright Security, Patent Rights are the poor cousins.

Patents are extended a modest protection life-span. A maximum duration of twenty years, as opposed to the typical “life of the author plus seventy years”  extended via Copyright Law to published works in many Countries.

 Some Countries offer an even longer protection life-span for Copyright.

Duration Of Copyright

Not withstanding the distressing psychological impact on budding creators Freedom to associate other Human's work with their own, the above time-span contributes much to the complexity of Copyright Legislation. The duration of protection is dependent on a number of considerations.

Considerations include whether works remain unpublished, the category the works belong to, and the time when the work was produced, can all have a bearing on the protection provided by law, and these should be investigated with diligence.

Indeed, protection can be perpetual. If a particular Creative Expression is not published, then Copyright lays in abeyance until the day that a Work is published. The appropriate duration of protection applies from that date. Including posthumously.

As an aside, to place a Positive Spin on such short sighted restrictions, the only aim of which is to maximize profit, is to recall that there is no protection on Ideas. This presents a golden opportunity to express a given idea in a superior manner, then place your superior endeavors under the auspices of Creative Commons.

Complex restrictions ostensibly are in place for the exclusive purpose of preventing Copyright Infringement. Rights Infringement is the hot topic of the next installment of useful copyright information. 

 Useful Copyright Information Rocks!

Part 2  Part 1

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