Intellectual property law provides monopoly over creations of mind and intellect. Major spheres of expertise in intellectual property law include copyright law, patent law, sui generis, industrial design law, trademarks and goodwill. Out of these, copyrights have major significance and the same will be discussed in this article today.
- It is an exclusive legal right to publish, sell, distribute or reproduce artistic work like songs, poetry, prose etc.
- A bundle of intangible rights granted by statute to the author or originator of certain literary or artistic productions, whereby, for a limited period, the exclusive privilege is given to that person (or to any party to whom he or she transfers ownership) to make copies of the same for publication and sale.
It is a set of a counted number of exclusive rights that are granted to the author or creator of an original piece of artistic work. The areas covered under copyrights are poetry, paintings, music, prose etc. The rights include control over copying, distributing and adapting that work and also, transferring, assigning and licensing it. The copyright license can be renewed by the legal heirs, too. After a set period of time, the copyright license is demolished and the work comes under public domain.
Almost every country has copyright law codified according to their own customs, traditions and business practices. It is not only restricted to countries, but also there are international copyright laws governing global copyright issues. International copyright laws include:
- Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
- European Copyright Law
- Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
- Buenos Aires Convention
- Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs)
Interesting Facts Related to Copyrights:
- According to WIPO; World Intellectual Property Organization, any piece of art gets copyright protection as soon as it is created. Therefore, the misconception that an artistic work has to be “properly copyrighted” should be rectified.
- Length of an article has non significance in copyright law. Therefore, it is not permitted to use a smaller article or even a sentence freely (without the consent of the author).
- It is not allowed to quote a sentence or article and give reference to the original club. In fact, a written permission in advance is vital.
- Usage for profit or not for profit has, also, no significance. Both kinds of usage are disallowed without the consent of the author.
- Fair use exception allows replication or duplication of the copyrighted material for journalistic, private or educational purposes. Therefore students are allowed to get photocopies of a material for their educational and studious purposes.
- It is not allowed to use the material of an author belonging to another country. Taking prior permission is still necessary and should not be neglected.
- If another club reprinted an article, it does not imply that your club has gotten the permission to reprint it, too. That club might have taken the permission from the author, but you have not done so. Taking prior permission is necessary for every reprinting purpose.
- Short quotations are allowed to be reproduced by any one for the purpose of news reporting, criticism and commentary.
Respecting everyone’s artistic work is obligatory for us by law as well as ethically. Every sentence written by a person or any line painted by a painter is his/her original and unique piece of art; do not violate others’ rights if you want yours to be respected.