Report: Copyright

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  Basics: Rights Recognized

Copyright protection generally means that certain uses of a work are lawful only if they are done with the authorization of the owner of the copyright. The most typical are the following:

- copying or reproducing a work
- performing a work in public
- making a sound recording of a work
- making a motion picture of a work
- broadcasting a work
- translating a work
- adapting a work

Under certain national laws, some of these rights, which are referred to, as "economic rights'" are not exclusive rights of authorization but in specific cases, merely rights to remuneration. Some strictly determined uses (for example quotations or the use of works by way of illustration for teaching) are completely free, that is, they require neither authorization of, nor remuneration for, the owner of the copyright. This practice is described as fair use.

In addition to economic rights, authors enjoy "moral rights" on the basis of which they have the right to claim their authorship and require that their names be indicated on the copies of the work and in connection with other uses thereof. They also have the right to oppose the mutilation or deformation of their creations.

The owner of a copyright may usually transfer his right or may license certain uses of his work. Moral rights are generally inalienable and remain with the creator even after he has transferred his economic rights, although the author may waive their exercise.

Furthermore there exist rights related to copyright that are referred to as "neighboring rights". In general there are three kinds of neighboring rights: 1) the rights of performing artists in their performances, 2) the rights of producers of phonograms in their phonograms, and 3) the rights of broadcasting organizations in their radio and television programs. Neighboring rights attempt to protect those who assist intellectual creators to communicate their message and to disseminate their works to the public at large.

browse Report:
    Intellectual Property and the "Information Society" Metaphor
-3   History: "The South"
-2   History: "Indigenous Tradition"
-1   Basics: Introduction
0   Basics: Rights Recognized
+1   Basics: Protected Works
+2   Basics: Protected Persons
+3   Basics: Acquisition of Copyright
Recent "Digital Copyright" Legislation: European Union
Fair use
Certain acts normally restricted by copyright may, in circumstances specified in the law, be done without the authorization of the copyright owner. Fair use may therefore be described as the privilege to use copyrighted material in a reasonable manner without the owner's consent and allows the reproduction and use of a work for limited purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, and research. To determine whether a use is fair or not most copyright laws consider: 1) purpose and character of the use, 2) nature of the copyrighted work, 3) amount and substantiality of the portion used, and 4) effect of the use on the potential market. Examples of activities that may be excused as fair use include: providing a quotation in a book review; distributing copies of a section of an article in class for educational purposes; and imitating a work for the purpose of parody or social commentary.