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Written by : Virgilio Kennelly
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copyright laws seek to prevent unauthorized copying of works of authorship and to protect the fruits of the labor undertaken in developing such works we will present an overview of copyright law discussing questions such as what is a copyright how our works made protectable by copyright law and what do copyright laws protect and not protect what is a copyright copyright is one of many intellectual property rights intellectual property rights are rights protected property interests even though they are not tangible like a laptop or house other intellectual property rights include trademarks patents and trade secrets u.s. copyright laws are codified in title 17 of the United States Code in the u.s. registration of a work is not required to have a valid copyright just producing and committing something to a tangible form automatically gives you the copyrights to that creation however federal registration of a work with the US Copyright Office part of the Library of Congress provides additional options and protections to the works author a copyright is a legally recognized property right protecting creative original works that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression capable of being perceived reproduced or otherwise communicated for instance a songwriter that writes a song can use the notes app on an iPhone to type or fix the lyrics into a format that is tangible and easily reproduced otherwise the lyrics are just an idea in someone's mind and not easily perceived or reproduced likewise an oil painter fixes her work onto a canvas a common medium of expression for artists the same way that a 3d animator might fix his short film into a digital file format another medium that falls within the scope of the Copyright Act how our works made protectable by copyright law original works in creativity originality is a key ingredient to the creation of a copyright able work that's eligible for protection the US Supreme Court addresses the originality and creativity requirements in the landmark case Feist publications Inc vers rural telephone service Company Inc in that case the court stated that to qualify for copyright protection a work must be original to the author continuing the Court emphasized that the work must be independently created by the author and it must possess at least some minimal degree of creativity in Feist rural telephone service company Inc a telephone company that created a phonebook sued Feist publications Inc a company specializing in the creation of phone books for copying entries from rurals phonebook at the time copyright law protected works under the sweat of the brow doctrine which gave copyright protection based on the time and effort put into the creation of a work not necessarily based on whether it was original the Supreme Court held in favor of Feist publications saying no one may claim originality as to facts because facts do not owe their origin to an act of authorship therefore facts are never original and copyright law does not extend protections to facts the court went on to declare that the level of creativity required for copyright is low and that a work must be original to and independently created by the author works that contain factual information may be registered so long as they have a level of creativity or original authorship that creates elements eligible for registration for example a newspaper or magazine article may be eligible for copyright protections but the protections do not extend to any news elements within the article because the information contained within is merely information and within the public domain therefore once an article or news where the event is published by the original publication other publications may write their own articles or methods of conveying the same newsworthy information without infringing upon the original story in an interesting sidelight the US Copyright Office recently had to issue a ruling that a copyright able work needs to have been created by a human being to be protected in response to an attempt to copyright selfies taken by a monkey ideas and non fixed expressions another key ingredient to a copyright is making sure the work is fixed in a tangible medium of expression if a work is not fixed it is therefore not protectable under the Copyright Act examples of works that have not been fixed include choreography that has never been filmed or notated an extemporaneous speech that has not been filmed or recorded a work communicated solely through conversation or a live broadcast that has not been filmed recorded written or transcribed a dramatic sketch or musical composition improvised or developed from memory that has not been filmed recorded or transcribed the Copyright Act specifically targets ideas when providing guidance on exceptions to the protections it offers in no case states section 1 0 2 B does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extent to any idea procedure process system method of operation concept principle or discovery regardless of the form in which it is described explained Illustrated or embodied in such work examples of such works that are not subject to copyright protection include the idea or concept for a work of authorship the idea for a character business operations or procedures mathematical principles formulas algorithms or equations an example of the universal concept or theme that is not eligible for copyright protection arose from an early 20th century case a court held that copyright law does not protect a work created by an author detailing a quarrel between a Jewish father and an Irish father the marriage of their children the birth of grandchildren and a reconciliation this is because the nature of the creative work incorporates universal concepts and universal themes of a story due to the nature of section 1 0 to B it's important for creators in the entertainment and media industries to understand that sharing an idea for a movie screenplay or television series with another person or company especially when it's not a finalized or finished product can make it more difficult to properly protect the work using copyright laws a related concept that's important to understand is that titles names and short phrases are not eligible for copyright protection this is because those types of works do not meet the minimum amount of authorship necessary incidentally trademark law codified in the u.s. under the Lanham Act also does not generally afford protections to titles either trademark protections may be available for Series titles brand and trade names slogans or phrases but not for individual books or song titles Taylor Swift made headlines with registration filings for a variety of trademarks surrounding her 2014 album 1989 and its subsequent world tour whether those filings would hold up in court has not yet been tested there are a variety of business decisions to consider when it comes to protecting intellectual property assets therefore a proper understanding of the similarities and differences between different types of intellectual property is important for more information about the registratio
Thanks for your comment Christinia Cifuentes, have a nice day.
- Virgilio Kennelly, Staff Member
these days businesses are built on the back of databases they've compiled and fortunes are made and lost on making sure those databases a safe secure and proprietary obviously the best way to keep a database secure is to never reveal the content to the public because people can't copy what they can't see but what happens if the content of your database must be public or your revenue model relies on revealing or publicizing your data for example publicly searchable indices or television programming schedules if your content is out there in the wild and you rely on copyright to step in and stop people from copying your contents and profiting from your hard work the short answer is probably not slightly longer answer is well it depends on what you're trying to protect we know that anyone who claims copyright infringement by show firstly the copyright subsists network and secondly that a substantial part of that work has been taken databases are the same in 2009 the high court's judgment in ice TV and Nine Network's Australia really impacted on the way that we think about copyright and databases prior to that case the focus was really on whether database could qualify for cover eye protection at all that is the case is really focused on the first question since I Stevie we think that question has become almost redundant that is even if copyright subsists and databases the scope of protection offered by copyright of databases is so limited that few databases will actually be effectively protected so what sort of databases will be protectable is copyright the answer is best encapsulated in the off-site appraised independent intellectual effort directed towards expression basically this means the copyright law will protected database if someone copies the presentation of the information not if someone copies the content maybe the hawthorne AFL selectors spent many agonizing hours selecting the team that ultimately won them the 2015 Premiership once they agreed it was a very simple task to write the names down the effort that went into essentially creating those facts is not protectable as copyright this means that once they release the names even in the nominative positions anyone could copy them that seems fair what if the database is far more detail the legal outcome would be unfortunately this is largely bad news for database owners because it restricts the protection the copyright will offer basically where the layout of a database is a key aspect of that database copyright will probably be very helpful the flipside is that where a database is valuable because of its content it will receive much less protection under Australian copyright law the EU is way ahead on this in march of 1996 they adopted a directive which introduced a specific database right distinct from copyright protection this protects owners against third parties extracting or using information in databases without permission the point is to recognize the investment that goes into creating databases copyright still operates alongside this right and can still step in to protect against someone copying the layout of a database in the wake of ice TV it might be time for Australia to follow suit and introduce measures which recognize the significant time and money which goes into creating and maintaining databases
Thanks hlerann9 your participation is very much appreciated
- Virgilio Kennelly
About the author
I've studied creative writing at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles and I am an expert in digital sociology. I usually feel excited. My previous job was surgeons (md) I held this position for 24 years, I love talking about go and acting. Huge fan of Jason Garrett I practice alpine skiing and collect sports cards.
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