Copyright
Overview
 
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive right
Exclusive right
In Anglo-Saxon law, an exclusive right is a de facto, non-tangible prerogative existing in law to perform an action or acquire a benefit and to permit or deny others the right to perform the same action or to acquire the same benefit. A "prerogative" is in effect an exclusive right...

s to it, usually for a limited time. Generally, it is "the right to copy", but also gives the copyright holder the right to be credited for the work, to determine who may adapt the work to other forms, who may perform the work, who may financially benefit from it, and other, related rights. It is an intellectual property
Intellectual property
Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law...

 form (like the patent
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

, the trademark
Trademark
A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or...

, and the trade secret
Trade secret
A trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, or compilation of information which is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, by which a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers...

) applicable to any expressible form of an idea or information that is substantive and discrete.

Copyright initially was conceived as a way for government to restrict printing; the contemporary intent of copyright is to promote the creation of new works by giving authors control of and profit from them.
Encyclopedia
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive right
Exclusive right
In Anglo-Saxon law, an exclusive right is a de facto, non-tangible prerogative existing in law to perform an action or acquire a benefit and to permit or deny others the right to perform the same action or to acquire the same benefit. A "prerogative" is in effect an exclusive right...

s to it, usually for a limited time. Generally, it is "the right to copy", but also gives the copyright holder the right to be credited for the work, to determine who may adapt the work to other forms, who may perform the work, who may financially benefit from it, and other, related rights. It is an intellectual property
Intellectual property
Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law...

 form (like the patent
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

, the trademark
Trademark
A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or...

, and the trade secret
Trade secret
A trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, or compilation of information which is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, by which a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers...

) applicable to any expressible form of an idea or information that is substantive and discrete.

Copyright initially was conceived as a way for government to restrict printing; the contemporary intent of copyright is to promote the creation of new works by giving authors control of and profit from them. Copyrights have been internationally standardized, lasting between fifty to a hundred years from the creator's death, or a finite period for anonymous or corporate creations; some jurisdictions have required formalities to establishing copyright, most recognize copyright in any completed work, without formal registration. Generally, copyright is enforced as a civil
Civil law (common law)
Civil law, as opposed to criminal law, is the branch of law dealing with disputes between individuals or organizations, in which compensation may be awarded to the victim...

 matter, though some jurisdictions do apply criminal
Criminal law
Criminal law, is the body of law that relates to crime. It might be defined as the body of rules that defines conduct that is not allowed because it is held to threaten, harm or endanger the safety and welfare of people, and that sets out the punishment to be imposed on people who do not obey...

 sanctions.

Most jurisdictions recognize copyright limitations, allowing "fair" exceptions to the creator's exclusivity of copyright, and giving users certain rights. The development of digital media and computer network technologies have prompted reinterpretation of these exceptions, introduced new difficulties in enforcing copyright, and inspired additional challenges to copyright law's philosophic basis. Simultaneously, businesses with great economic dependence upon copyright have advocated the extension and expansion of their copy rights, and sought additional legal and technological enforcement.

Justification

Some take the approach of looking for coherent justifications of established copyright systems, while others start with general ethical theories, such as utilitarianism
Utilitarianism
Utilitarianism is an ethical theory holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes the overall "happiness", by whatever means necessary. It is thus a form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined only by its resulting outcome, and that one can...

 and try to analyse policy through that lens. Another approach denies the meaningfulness of any ethical justification for existing copyright law, viewing it simply as a result (and perhaps an undesirable result) of political processes.

Another widely debated issue is the relationship between copyrights and other forms of "intellectual property
Intellectual property
Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law...

", and material property. Most scholars of copyright agree that it can be called a kind of property
Property
Property is any physical or intangible entity that is owned by a person or jointly by a group of people or a legal entity like a corporation...

, because it involves the exclusion
Exclusive right
In Anglo-Saxon law, an exclusive right is a de facto, non-tangible prerogative existing in law to perform an action or acquire a benefit and to permit or deny others the right to perform the same action or to acquire the same benefit. A "prerogative" is in effect an exclusive right...

 of others from something. But there is disagreement about the extent to which that fact should allow the transportation of other beliefs and intuitions about material possessions.

There are many other philosophical
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 questions which arise in the jurisprudence of copyright. They include such problems as determining when one work is "derived" from another, or deciding when information has been placed in a "tangible" or "material" form.

Some critics claim copyright law protects corporate interests while criminalizing legitimate use, while proponents argue the law is fair and just.

History

Copyright was invented after the advent of the printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

 and with wider public literacy. As a legal concept, its origins in Britain were from a reaction to printers' monopolies at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Charles II of England
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 was concerned by the unregulated copying of books and passed the Licensing Act of 1662 by Act of Parliament, which established a register of licensed books and required a copy to be deposited with the Stationers Company, essentially continuing the licensing of material that had long been in effect.
The British Statute of Anne
Statute of Anne
The Statute of Anne was the first copyright law in the Kingdom of Great Britain , enacted in 1709 and entering into force on 10 April 1710...

 (1709) further alluded to individual rights or the artist, beginning: "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.

Aside from the role of governments and the church, the history of copyright law is in essential ways also connected to the rise of capitalism and the attendant extension of commodity relations to the realm of creative human activities, such as literary and artistic production. Similarly, 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 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, expression and property of the collective. Not until capitalism emerges in Europe with its individualist ideological underpinnings does the conception of intellectual property and by extension copyright law emerge. Intellectual production comes to be seen as a product of an individual and their property, rather than a collective or social product which belongs in the commons. The most significant point is that under the capitalist mode of production, patent and copyright laws support in fundamental and thoroughgoing ways 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 hitherto had no monetary or economic value per se.

The Statute of Anne
Statute of Anne
The Statute of Anne was the first copyright law in the Kingdom of Great Britain , enacted in 1709 and entering into force on 10 April 1710...

 was the first real copyright act, and gave the publishers rights for a fixed period, after which the copyright expired. Copyright has grown from a legal concept regulating copying rights in the publishing of books and maps to one with a significant effect on nearly every modern industry, covering such items as sound recordings
Sound recording and reproduction
Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical or mechanical inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of sound recording technology are analog recording and digital recording...

, films, photographs, software, and architectural works.
The Copyright Clause
Copyright Clause
Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, known as the Copyright Clause, empowers the United States Congress:- Other Terms :This clause is also referred to as:* Copyright and Patent Clause* Patent and Copyright Clause...

 of the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

 (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 his heirs.

The 1886 Berne Convention
Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as the Berne Convention, is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland in 1886.- Content :...

 first established recognition of copyrights among sovereign nations
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

, 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 of 1988. The USA did not sign the Berne Convention until 1989.

The United States and most Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

n countries instead entered into the Buenos Aires Convention
Buenos Aires Convention
The Buenos Aires Convention is a copyright treaty signed at Buenos Aires on 1910-04-11 which provides for the mutual recognition of copyrights where the work carries a notice containing a statement of reservation of rights...

 in 1910, which required a copyright notice (such as "all rights reserved") on the work, and permitted signatory nations to limit the duration of copyrights to shorter and renewable terms. The Universal Copyright Convention
Universal Copyright Convention
The Universal Copyright Convention , adopted at Geneva in 1952, is one of the two principal international conventions protecting copyright; the other is the Berne Convention....

 was drafted in 1952 as another less demanding alternative to the Berne Convention, and ratified by nations such as the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and developing nations.

The regulations of the Berne Convention
Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as the Berne Convention, is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland in 1886.- Content :...

 are incorporated into the World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

's TRIPS
Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights is an international agreement administered by the World Trade Organization that sets down minimum standards for many forms of intellectual property regulation as applied to nationals of other WTO Members...

 agreement (1995), thus giving the Berne Convention effectively near-global application. The 2002 WIPO Copyright Treaty
World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty
The World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty, abbreviated as the WIPO Copyright Treaty, is an international treaty on copyright law adopted by the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization in 1996...

 enacted greater restrictions on the use of technology to copy works in the nations that ratified it.

Scope

Copyright may apply to a wide range of creative, intellectual, or artistic forms, or "works". Specifics vary by jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

, but these can include poems, theses, plays
Drama
Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance. The term comes from a Greek word meaning "action" , which is derived from "to do","to act" . The enactment of drama in theatre, performed by actors on a stage before an audience, presupposes collaborative modes of production and a...

, other literary works
Book
A book is a set or collection of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of hot lava, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fastened together to hinge at one side. A single sheet within a book is called a leaf or leaflet, and each side of a leaf is called a page...

, movies
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

, dances
Choreography
Choreography is the art of designing sequences of movements in which motion, form, or both are specified. Choreography may also refer to the design itself, which is sometimes expressed by means of dance notation. The word choreography literally means "dance-writing" from the Greek words "χορεία" ...

, musical compositions
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, audio recordings, painting
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

s, drawing
Drawing
Drawing is a form of visual art that makes use of any number of drawing instruments to mark a two-dimensional medium. Common instruments include graphite pencils, pen and ink, inked brushes, wax color pencils, crayons, charcoal, chalk, pastels, markers, styluses, and various metals .An artist who...

s, sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

s, photographs
Photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

, software
Computer software
Computer software, or just software, is a collection of computer programs and related data that provide the instructions for telling a computer what to do and how to do it....

, radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

 and television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 broadcasts
Broadcasting
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...

, and industrial design
Industrial design
Industrial design is the use of a combination of applied art and applied science to improve the aesthetics, ergonomics, and usability of a product, but it may also be used to improve the product's marketability and production...

s. Graphic designs and industrial designs may have separate or overlapping laws applied to them in some jurisdictions.

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
Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at The Walt Disney Studio. Mickey is an anthropomorphic black mouse and typically wears red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves...

 cartoon restricts others from making copies of the cartoon or creating derivative work
Derivative work
In United States copyright law, a derivative work is an expressive creation that includes major, copyright-protected elements of an original, previously created first work .-Definition:...

s based on Disney's
The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company is the largest media conglomerate in the world in terms of revenue. Founded on October 16, 1923, by Walt and Roy Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, Walt Disney Productions established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into...

 particular anthropomorphic mouse, but doesn't prohibit the creation of other works about anthropomorphic mice in general, so long as they're different enough to not be judged copies of Disney's. In many jurisdictions, copyright law makes exceptions to these restrictions when the work is copied for the purpose of commentary or other related uses (See Fair Use
Fair use
Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders...

, Fair Dealing
Fair dealing
Fair dealing is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work, which is found in many of the common law jurisdictions of the Commonwealth of Nations....

). Meanwhile, other laws may impose additional restrictions that copyright does not — such as trademark
Trademark
A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or...

s and patent
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

s.

Copyright laws are standardized somewhat through international conventions such as the Berne Convention
Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as the Berne Convention, is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland in 1886.- Content :...

 and Universal Copyright Convention
Universal Copyright Convention
The Universal Copyright Convention , adopted at Geneva in 1952, is one of the two principal international conventions protecting copyright; the other is the Berne Convention....

. These multilateral treaties have been ratified by nearly all countries, and international organizations such as the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 or World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

 require their member states to comply with them.

Obtaining and enforcing copyright

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 United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 there has to be some 'skill, labour and judgment' that has gone into it. In Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 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
Trademark
A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or...

 instead.

Copyright law recognises 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 his or her exclusive rights. However, while registration isn't needed to exercise copyright, in jurisdictions where the laws provide for registration, it serves as prima facie
Prima facie
Prima facie is a Latin expression meaning on its first encounter, first blush, or at first sight. The literal translation would be "at first face", from the feminine form of primus and facies , both in the ablative case. It is used in modern legal English to signify that on first examination, a...

evidence of a valid copyright and enables the copyright holder to seek statutory damages
Statutory damages for copyright infringement
Statutory damages for copyright infringement are available under some countries' copyright laws.The charges allow copyright holders, who succeed with claims of infringement, to receive an amount of compensation per work...

 and attorney's fees. (In the USA, registering after an infringement only enables one to receive actual damages and lost profits.)

The original holder of the copyright may be the employer of the author rather than the author himself, if the work is a "work for hire
Work for hire
A work made for hire is an exception to the general rule that the person who actually creates a work is the legally recognized author of that work...

". For example, in English law
English law
English law is the legal system of England and Wales, and is the basis of common law legal systems used in most Commonwealth countries and the United States except Louisiana...

 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."

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 RIAA are increasingly targeting the file sharing
File sharing
File sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to digitally stored information, such as computer programs, multimedia , documents, or electronic books. It may be implemented through a variety of ways...

 home Internet user. Thus far, however, most such cases against file sharers have been settled out of court. (See: File sharing and the law
File sharing and the law
The legal issues in file sharing involve violation of copyright laws as digital copies of copyrighted materials are transferred between users.The application of national copyright laws to peer-to-peer and file sharing networks is of global significance...

)

Copyright notices in the U.S.

Prior to 1989, use of a copyright notice — consisting of the copyright symbol
Copyright symbol
The copyright symbol, or copyright sign, designated by © , is the symbol used in copyright notices for works other than sound recordings . The use of the symbol is described in United States copyright law, and, internationally, by the Universal Copyright Convention...

 , 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 — was part of United States statutory requirements. 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
Sound recording copyright symbol
The ' symbol, a circled P, is the copyright symbol used to provide notice of copyright in a sound recording . The use of the symbol originated in United States copyright law and is specified internationally in the Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized...

 (, the letter P inside a circle), which indicates a sound recording copyright. Similarly, the phrase All rights reserved
All rights reserved
"All rights reserved" is a phrase that originated in copyright law as part of copyright notices. It indicates that the copyright holder reserves, or holds for their own use, all the rights provided by copyright law, such as distribution, performance, and creation of derivative works; that is, they...

was once required to assert copyright.

In 1989, the U.S. enacted the Berne Convention Implementation Act, amending the 1976 Copyright Act to conform to most of the provisions of the Berne Convention
Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as the Berne Convention, is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland in 1886.- Content :...

. 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.

"Poor man's copyright"

A widely circulated strategy to avoid the cost of copyright registration is referred to as the "poor man's copyright
Poor man's copyright
Poor man's copyright is a method of using registered dating by the postal service, a notary public or other highly trusted source to date intellectual property, thereby helping to establish that the material has been in one's possession since a particular time...

." It proposes that the creator send the work to himself in a sealed envelope by registered mail, using the postmark
Postmark
thumb|USS TexasA postmark is a postal marking made on a letter, package, postcard or the like indicating the date and time that the item was delivered into the care of the postal service...

 to establish the date. This technique has not been recognized in any published opinions of the United States courts. The United States Copyright Office makes clear that the technique is no substitute for actual registration. The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office discusses the technique but does not recommend its use.

Exclusive rights

Several exclusive rights typically attach to the holder of a copyright:
  • 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 work
    Derivative work
    In United States copyright law, a derivative work is an expressive creation that includes major, copyright-protected elements of an original, previously created first work .-Definition:...

    s (works that adapt the original work)
  • to perform or display the work publicly
  • to sell or assign these rights to others
  • to transmit or display by radio or video


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 holders 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
English law is the legal system of England and Wales, and is the basis of common law legal systems used in most Commonwealth countries and the United States except Louisiana...

 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
Philosophy of copyright
The philosophy of copyright might be said to include several philosophical issues which are fundamentally linked to copyright policy, and other jurisprudential problems that arise in legal systems' interpretation and application 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. Many argue that copyright does not exist merely to restrict third parties from publishing ideas and information, and that defining copyright purely as a negative right is incompatible with the public policy objective of encouraging authors to create new works and enrich the public domain.

The right to adapt a work means to transform the way in which the work is expressed. Examples include developing a stage play or film script from a novel, translating a short story, and making a new arrangement of a musical work.

Founded in 2001, Creative Commons
Creative Commons
Creative Commons is a non-profit organization headquartered in Mountain View, California, United States devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright-licenses known as Creative Commons...

 (CC) is a non-profit organization with headquarters centered in California and over 100 affiliates located throughout the world. CC aims to facilitate the legal sharing of creative works. To this end the organization provides a number of copyright license options to the public, free of charge. These licenses allow copyright holders to define conditions under which others may use a work and to specify what types of use are acceptable. Terms of use have traditionally been negotiated on an individual basis between copyright holder and potential licensee. Therefore, a general CC license outlining which rights the copyright holder is willing to waive enable the general public to use such works more freely. Four general types of CC licenses are available. These are based upon copyright holder stipulations such as whether the he or she is willing to allow modifications to the work, whether he or she permits the creation of derivative works and whether he or she is willing to permit commercial use of the work.

Individuals may register for a CC license via the Creative Commons website. As of 2009 approximately 130 million individuals had received such licenses.

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
Baker v. Selden
Baker v. Selden, , was a leading Supreme Court of the United States copyright case cited to explain the idea-expression dichotomy.-Facts:...

, has since been codified by the Copyright Act of 1976
Copyright Act of 1976
The Copyright Act of 1976 is a United States copyright law and remains the primary basis of copyright law in the United States, as amended by several later enacted copyright provisions...

 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
Compact Disc
The Compact Disc is an optical disc used to store digital data. It was originally developed to store and playback sound recordings exclusively, but later expanded to encompass data storage , write-once audio and data storage , rewritable media , Video Compact Discs , Super Video Compact Discs ,...

. In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 this is known as the first-sale doctrine
First-sale doctrine
The first-sale doctrine is a limitation on copyright that was recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1908 and subsequently codified in the Copyright Act of 1976,...

, and was established by the court
Court
A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

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
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

 and trademark
Trademark
A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or...

 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 addition, copyright, in most cases, does not prohibit one from acts such as modifying, defacing, or destroying his or her 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
Fair use
Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders...

, 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:
  1. the purpose and character of your use
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work
  3. what amount and proportion of the whole work was taken, and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.


In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and many other Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 countries, a similar notion of fair dealing was established by the court
Court
A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

s or through legislation
Legislation
Legislation is law which has been promulgated by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it...

. The concept is sometimes not well defined; however in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, private copying for personal use has been expressly permitted by statute since 1999. In Australia, the fair dealing
Fair dealing
Fair dealing is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work, which is found in many of the common law jurisdictions of the Commonwealth of Nations....

 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
Legal advice
In the common law, legal advice is the giving of a formal opinion regarding the substance or procedure of the law by an officer of the court , ordinarily in exchange for financial or other tangible compensation...

). Under current Australian law
Law of Australia
The law of Australia consists of the Australian common law , federal laws enacted by the Parliament of Australia, and laws enacted by the Parliaments of the Australian states and territories...

 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. 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
Audio Home Recording Act
The Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 amended the United States copyright law by adding Chapter 10, "Digital Audio Recording Devices and Media"...

 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.
Section 1008. Prohibition on certain infringement actions

No action may be brought under this title alleging infringement of copyright based on the manufacture, importation, or distribution of a digital audio recording device, a digital audio recording medium, an analog recording device, or an analog recording medium, or based on the noncommercial use by a consumer of such a device or medium for making digital musical recordings or analog musical recordings.


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
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization . It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to...

 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.

Transfer and licensing, and assignment

A copyright, or aspects of it, 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
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

, however the record industry attempts to provide promotion and marketing for the artist and his or her 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 and/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; see section 239 of the Australia Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Under Australian law, it is not enough to pay for a work to be created in order to also own the copyright. The copyright itself must be expressly transferred in writing.

Under the U.S. 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 U.S. law
Law of the United States
The law of the United States consists of many levels of codified and uncodified forms of law, of which the most important is the United States Constitution, the foundation of the federal government of the United States...

. 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
In general use, esp. North American, 'real estate' is taken to mean "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; an item of real property; buildings or...

 transaction.

Copyright may also be license
License
The verb license or grant licence means to give permission. The noun license or licence refers to that permission as well as to the document recording that permission.A license may be granted by a party to another party as an element of an agreement...

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
Compulsory license
A compulsory license, also known as statutory license or mandatory collective management, provides that the owner of a patent or copyright licenses the use of their rights against payment either set by law or determined through some form of arbitration.- Copyright law :In a number of countries...

, 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 collective
Copyright collective
A copyright collective is a body created by copyright law or private agreement which engages in collective rights management...

s or collecting societies and performing rights organizations
Performance rights organisation
Performance rights organizations provide intermediary functions, particularly royalty collection, between copyright holders and parties who wish to use copyrighted works publicly such as shopping and dining venues. Legal consumer purchase of works, such as buying CDs from a music store, confer...

 (such as ASCAP, BMI
Broadcast Music Incorporated
Broadcast Music, Inc. is one of three United States performing rights organizations, along with ASCAP and SESAC. It collects license fees on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed...

, and SESAC
SESAC
SESAC, originally the Society of European Stage Authors & Composers, is the smallest of the three performance rights organizations in the United States. SESAC was founded in 1930, making it the second-oldest performing rights organization in the U.S. SESAC is also the fastest-growing PRO in the...

 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.

Similar legal rights

Copyright law covers the creative or artistic expression of an idea. Patent
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

 law covers invention
Invention
An invention is a novel composition, device, or process. An invention may be derived from a pre-existing model or idea, or it could be independently conceived, in which case it may be a radical breakthrough. In addition, there is cultural invention, which is an innovative set of useful social...

s. Trademark
Trademark
A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or...

 law covers distinctive signs
Sign (semiotics)
A sign is understood as a discrete unit of meaning in semiotics. It is defined as "something that stands for something, to someone in some capacity" It includes words, images, gestures, scents, tastes, textures, sounds – essentially all of the ways in which information can be...

 which are used in relation to products
Product (business)
In general, the product is defined as a "thing produced by labor or effort" or the "result of an act or a process", and stems from the verb produce, from the Latin prōdūce ' lead or bring forth'. Since 1575, the word "product" has referred to anything produced...

 or services as indicators of origin, as does (in a similar fashion), Trade dress
Trade dress
Trade dress is a legal term of art that generally refers to characteristics of the visual appearance of a product or its packaging that signify the source of the product to consumers...

. Registered designs law covers the look or appearance of a manufactured or functional article. Trade secret
Trade secret
A trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, or compilation of information which is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, by which a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers...

 law covers secret or sensitive knowledge or information.

Although copyright and trademark laws are theoretically distinct, more than one type of them may cover the same item or subject matter. For example, in the case of the Mickey Mouse cartoon, the image and name of Mickey Mouse would be the subject of trademark legislation, while the cartoon itself would be subject to copyright. Titles and character names from books or movies may also be trademarked while the works from which they are drawn may qualify for copyright.

Another point of distinction is that a copyright (and a patent) is generally subject to a statutorily-determined term, whereas a trademark registration may remain in force indefinitely if the trademark is periodically used and renewal fees continue to be duly paid to the relevant jurisdiction's trade marks office or registry
Civil registry
Civil registration is the system by which a government records the vital events of its citizens and residents. The resulting repository or database is called civil register or registry, or population registry. The primary purpose of civil registration is to create legal documents that are used to...

. Once the term of a copyright has expired, the formerly copyrighted work enters the public domain
Public domain
Works are in the public domain if the intellectual property rights have expired, if the intellectual property rights are forfeited, or if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all...

 and may be freely used or exploited by anyone. Courts in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 have rejected the doctrine of a common law copyright
Common law copyright
Common law copyright is the legal doctrine which contends that copyright is a natural right and creators are therefore entitled to the same protections anyone would be in regard to tangible and real property...

. Public domain works should not be confused with works that are publicly available. Works posted in the internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 for example, are publicly available, but are not generally in the public domain. Copying such works may therefore violate the author's copyright.

Useful articles

If a pictorial, graphic or sculptural work is a useful article, it is copyrighted only if its aesthetic features are separable from its utilitarian features. A useful article is an article having an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not merely to portray the appearance of the article or to convey information. They must be separable from the functional aspect to be copyrighted.

There are two primary approaches to the separability issue: physical separability and conceptual separability. Physical separability is the ability to take the aesthetic thing away from the functional thing. Conceptual separability can be found in several different ways. It may be present if the useful article is also shown to be appreciated for its aesthetic appeal or by the design approach, which is the idea that separability is only available if the designer is able to make the aesthetic choices that are unaffected by the functional considerations. A question may also be asked of whether an individual would think of the aesthetic aspects of the work being separate from the functional aspects.

There are several different tests available for conceptual separability. The first, the Primary Use test, asks how is the thing primarily used: art or function? The second, the Marketable as Art test, asks can the article be sold as art, whether functional or not. This test does not have much backing, as almost anything can be sold as art. The third test, Temporal Displacement, asks could an individual conceptualize the article as art without conceptualizing functionality at the same time. Finally, the Denicola test says that copyrightability should ultimately depend on the extent to which the work reflects the artistic expression inhibited by functional consideration. If something came to have a pleasing shape because there were functional considerations, the artistic aspect was constrained by those concerns.

Accessible Copies

It is legal in several countries including the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 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 persons without permission from the copyright holder.

Duration

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 or not, 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 question.

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 published before 1923 have expired copyrights and are in the public domain. 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, except that books originally published outside the US by non-Americans are exempt from this requirement, if they are still under copyright in their home country (see How Can I Tell Whether a Copyright Was Renewed for more details).

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 U.S., 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. Some works are covered by copyright in Spain for 80 years after the author's death.

In 1998 the length of a copyright in the United States was increased by 20 years under the 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.

As a curiosity, the famous work Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up has a complex – and disputed – story of copyright expiry.

Copyright and piracy

Piracy is considered to be the illegitimate use of materials held by copyright. For the history of the term 'piracy' see Copyright infringement
Copyright infringement
Copyright infringement is the unauthorized or prohibited use of works under copyright, infringing the copyright holder's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works.- "Piracy" :...

. For a work to be considered pirated, its illegitimate use must have occurred in a nation that has domestic copyright laws and/or adheres to a bilateral treaty or established international convention such as the Berne Convention
Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as the Berne Convention, is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland in 1886.- Content :...

 or WIPO Copyright Treaty
World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty
The World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty, abbreviated as the WIPO Copyright Treaty, is an international treaty on copyright law adopted by the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization in 1996...

. Improper use of materials outside of this legislation is deemed "unauthorized edition," not piracy.

Piracy primarily targets software, film and music. However, the illegal copying of books and other text works remains common, especially for educational reasons. Statistics regarding the effects of piracy are difficult to determine. Studies have attempted to estimate a monetary loss for industries affected by piracy by predicting what portion of pirated works would have been formally purchased if they had not been freely available. Estimates in 2007 stated 18.2 billion potential losses in consumer dollars lost as a result of piracy activities in the United States. International estimates suggest losses in the billions throughout the last decade.

See also

  • Adelphi Charter
    Adelphi Charter
    The Adelphi Charter on Creativity, Innovation and Intellectual Property is the result of a project commissioned by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce, London, UK, and is intended as a positive statement of what good intellectual property policy is...

  • Anti-copyright
    Anti-copyright
    Anti-copyright refers to the complete or partial opposition to prevalent copyright laws. Copyright is known as the owner's right for copies to be only made by the owner or with his/her authorization in form of a license....

  • Copyfraud
    Copyfraud
    Copyfraud is a term used by Jason Mazzone, an Associate Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, to describe the use of false claims of copyright to attempt to control works not under one's legal control.-Introduction:Mazzone describes copyfraud as:...

  • Copying
    Copying
    Copying is the duplication of information or an artifact based only on an instance of that information or artifact, and not using the process that originally generated it. With analog forms of information, copying is only possible to a limited degree of accuracy, which depends on the quality of the...

  • Copyright in architecture
  • Copyright on the content of patents
    Copyright on the content of patents
    The copyright status of the content of patent applications and patents may vary from one legislation to another.- United States :In the United States, a patent applicant may obtain copyright protection or mask work protection for the content of their patent application if they include the following...

  • Copyright for Creativity
    Copyright for Creativity
    Copyright for Creativity - A Declaration for Europe is intended as a positive statement of how good copyright policy needs to be constructed in the Internet Age, and comes against the background of increasing political debate within Europe as to the need to rethink copyright in the internet...

  • Copyright education
  • Copyright infringement
    Copyright infringement
    Copyright infringement is the unauthorized or prohibited use of works under copyright, infringing the copyright holder's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works.- "Piracy" :...

  • Copyright infringement of software
    Copyright infringement of software
    Copyright infringement of software=The copyright infringement of software refers to several practices which involve the unauthorized copying of computer software. Copyright infringement of this kind varies globally...

  • Copyright on religious works
    Copyright on religious works
    With copyright on religious works it is not always clear who the rights' holder is. Under the provisions of the Berne Convention, copyright is granted to the author on creation of the work. Several religions claim that all or some of their works were authored by their god or gods.Many Christians,...

  • Copyright on typefaces
  • Copyright treaty table
  • Creative Barcode
    Creative Barcode
    Creative Barcode is a nonprofit organization that allows members to share new ideas without the risk of unauthorized copying. It was founded in 2010. Members embed digital codes in creative works to indicate usage permissions. Private disclosure is made to other members who agree not to publicly...

  • Digital rights management
    Digital rights management
    Digital rights management is a class of access control technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders and individuals with the intent to limit the use of digital content and devices after sale. DRM is any technology that inhibits uses of digital content that...

  • Digital watermarking
    Digital watermarking
    Digital watermarking is the process of embedding information into a digital signal which may be used to verify its authenticity or the identity of its owners, in the same manner as paper bearing a watermark for visible identification. In digital watermarking, the signal may be audio, pictures, or...

  • Entertainment law
    Entertainment law
    Entertainment law or media law is a term for a mix of more traditional categories of law with a focus on providing legal services to the entertainment industry. The principal areas of Entertainment Law overlap substantially with the well-known and conventional field of intellectual property law...

  • Fair Dealing
    Fair dealing
    Fair dealing is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work, which is found in many of the common law jurisdictions of the Commonwealth of Nations....

  • File sharing and the law
    File sharing and the law
    The legal issues in file sharing involve violation of copyright laws as digital copies of copyrighted materials are transferred between users.The application of national copyright laws to peer-to-peer and file sharing networks is of global significance...

  • Fair use
    Fair use
    Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders...

  • Freedom of panorama
  • Limitations and exceptions to copyright
    Limitations and exceptions to copyright
    Limitations and exceptions to copyright are provisions in copyright law which allow for copyrighted works to be used without a license from the copyright owner....

  • List of copyright acts
  • List of copyright case law
  • List of countries' copyright length
  • Model release
    Model release
    A model release, known in similar contexts as a liability waiver, is a legal release typically signed by the subject of a photograph granting permission to publish the photograph in one form or another...

  • Moral rights (copyright law)
  • Paracopyright
    Paracopyright
    Paracopyright is a term that refers to an umbrella of legal protections above and beyond traditional copyright. It is also sometimes called "pseudocopyright" or "metacopyright". The most often cited example is "legal protection for technical measures" from the 1996 WIPO Internet treaties...

  • Philosophy of copyright
    Philosophy of copyright
    The philosophy of copyright might be said to include several philosophical issues which are fundamentally linked to copyright policy, and other jurisprudential problems that arise in legal systems' interpretation and application of copyright law....

  • Photography and the law
    Photography and the law
    Photography tends to be protected by the law through copyright and moral rights. Photography tends to be restricted by the law through miscellaneous criminal offences. Publishing certain photographs can be restricted by privacy law...

  • Pirate Party
    Pirate Party
    The Pirate Party is a political party in Sweden founded in 2006. Its sudden popularity has given rise to parties with the same name and similar goals in Europe and worldwide, forming the international Pirate Party movement....

  • Private copying levy
    Private copying levy
    A private copying levy is a government-mandated scheme in which a special tax or levy is charged on purchases of recordable media. Such taxes are in place in various countries and the income is typically allocated to the developers of "content"...

  • Production music
    Production music
    Production music is the name given to recorded music produced and owned by production music libraries and licensed to customers for use in film, television, radio and other media.-Introduction:...

  • Public domain
    Public domain
    Works are in the public domain if the intellectual property rights have expired, if the intellectual property rights are forfeited, or if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all...

  • Related rights
    Related rights
    Related rights is a term in copyright law, used in opposition to the term "authors' rights". The term neighbouring rights is exactly equivalent, and is a more literal translation of the original French droits voisins. Related rights in civil law are similar to authors' rights, but are not connected...

  • Rent-seeking
  • Reproduction fees
    Reproduction fees
    Reproduction fees are charged by image collections for the right to reproduce images in publications. This is not the same as a copyright fee, but is charged separately, as is the cost of the provision of the image...

  • Software copyright
    Software copyright
    Software copyright is the extension of copyright law to machine-readable software. While many of the legal principles and policy debates concerning software copyright have close parallels in other domains of copyright law, there are a number of distinctive issues that arise with software...

  • Threshold pledge


Treaties and International Agreements

  • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
    Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
    The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as the Berne Convention, is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland in 1886.- Content :...

     of 1886
  • Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations of 1961
  • Universal Copyright Convention
    Universal Copyright Convention
    The Universal Copyright Convention , adopted at Geneva in 1952, is one of the two principal international conventions protecting copyright; the other is the Berne Convention....

     of 1952
  • WIPO Copyright Treaty of 1996
  • WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
    WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
    The WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty is an international treaty signed by the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization was adopted in Geneva on December 20, 1996...

     of 1996
  • The World Trade Organization
    World Trade Organization
    The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

     Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
    Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
    The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights is an international agreement administered by the World Trade Organization that sets down minimum standards for many forms of intellectual property regulation as applied to nationals of other WTO Members...

     (TRIPS), of 1994

Sui generis

  • Alternative Compensation System
    Alternative compensation system
    Various alternative compensation systems have been proposed as ways to allow the widespread reproduction of digital copyrighted works while still paying the authors and copyright owners of those works. This article only discusses those proposals which involve some form of government intervention...

  • Anti-copyright
    Anti-copyright
    Anti-copyright refers to the complete or partial opposition to prevalent copyright laws. Copyright is known as the owner's right for copies to be only made by the owner or with his/her authorization in form of a license....

  • Copyleft
    Copyleft
    Copyleft is a play on the word copyright to describe the practice of using copyright law to offer the right to distribute copies and modified versions of a work and requiring that the same rights be preserved in modified versions of the work...

  • Copynorm
  • Copyright aspects of downloading and streaming
    Copyright aspects of downloading and streaming
    Streaming and downloading media files may often involve use of linking and framing Internet material, but they raise quite separate issues from linking and framing under copyright law...

  • Copyright aspects of hyperlinking and framing
    Copyright aspects of hyperlinking and framing
    In copyright law, the legal status of hyperlinking and that of framing concern how courts address two different but related web technologies...

  • Copyright-free
    Copyright-free
    Copyright-free is a conventional expression extensively used in Japan by authors whose works can be used freely regardless of copyright. It is distinguished from public domain but is not entirely a commitment to copyleft.-External links:...

  • Creative Commons
    Creative Commons
    Creative Commons is a non-profit organization headquartered in Mountain View, California, United States devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright-licenses known as Creative Commons...

  • Creative Commons jurisdiction ports
  • Creative Commons Licenses
    Creative Commons licenses
    Creative Commons licenses are several copyright licenses that allow the distribution of copyrighted works. The licenses differ by several combinations that condition the terms of distribution. They were initially released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S...

  • Crypto-anarchism
    Crypto-anarchism
    Crypto-anarchism expounds the use of strong public-key cryptography to bring about privacy and freedom. It was described by Vernor Vinge as a cyberspatial realization of anarchism. Crypto-anarchists aim to create cryptographic software that can be used to evade prosecution and harassment while...

  • Database right
  • Digital freedom
  • Free Culture (book)
    Free Culture (book)
    Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity is a book by law professor Lawrence Lessig that was released on the Internet under the Creative Commons Attribution/Non-commercial license on March 25, 2004."There has never been a...

    by Lawrence Lessig
    Lawrence Lessig
    Lawrence "Larry" Lessig is an American academic and political activist. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark, and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications, and he has called for state-based activism to promote substantive...

  • Good Copy Bad Copy
    Good Copy Bad Copy
    Good Copy Bad Copy, A documentary about the current state of copyright and culture, is a documentary about copyright and culture in the context of Internet, peer-to-peer file sharing and other technological advances, directed by Andreas Johnsen, Ralf Christensen, and Henrik Moltke.It features...

    (documentary)
  • Permission culture
    Permission culture
    Permission culture is a term often employed by Lawrence Lessig and other copyright activists to describe a society in which copyright restrictions are pervasive and enforced to the extent that any and all uses of copyrighted works need to be explicitly leased...

     – neologism by Lawrence Lessig.


Further reading

  • Ghosemajumder, Shuman
    Shuman Ghosemajumder
    Shuman Ghosemajumder is a Canadian technologist, entrepreneur, and author. He is the former click fraud czar at Google, the author of works on digital distribution including the Open Music Model, and co-founder of TeachAIDS.-Early life:...

    . Advanced Peer-Based Technology Business Models. MIT Sloan School of Management
    MIT Sloan School of Management
    The MIT Sloan School of Management is the business school of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts....

    , 2002.
  • Lehman, Bruce
    Bruce Lehman
    Bruce A. Lehman served from August 5, 1993 through 1998 as the United States Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Commissioner of the United States Patent and Trademark Office . Nominated by President Bill Clinton on April 23, 1993, and confirmed by the United States Senate on...

    : 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
    Washington State University
    Washington State University is a public research university based in Pullman, Washington, in the Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 1890, WSU is the state's original and largest land-grant university...

     Press, 2003. ISBN 978-0-87422-264-7.
  • Mazzone, Jason. Copyfraud. SSRN
  • Pievatolo, Maria Chiara. Publicness and Private Intellectual Property in Kant's Political Thought. http://bfp.sp.unipi.it/~pievatolo/lm/kantbraz.html
  • Pelanda, Brian. Declarations of Cultural Independence: The Nationalistic Imperative Behind the Passage of Early American Copyright Laws, 1783-1787 Journal of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A., Vol. 58, p. 431, 2011.
  • 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
    Harvard Business School
    Harvard Business School is the graduate business school of Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, United States and is widely recognized as one of the top business schools in the world. The school offers the world's largest full-time MBA program, doctoral programs, and many executive...

    , 2004.
  • Sorce Keller, Marcello. "Originality, Authenticity and Copyright", Sonus, VII(2007), no. 2, pp. 77–85.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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