Books, movies, computer software, and other artistic works are examples of things protected under copyright law. Copyright law is a pillar in the foundation of protection for entrepreneurial work.
Copyright law is founded on the Copyright Act of 1976, a statute that has taken effect since 1978. This law grants protection for original works that covers published and unpublished works. The work is protected under copyright law when it is created and can be perceived by others. Registration for works such as computer software, songs, novels, and even architecture is what allows it to be brought up in a lawsuit. When copyright is registered, it is considered public record and obtains a certificate of registration. Copyrights can also cross national borders in certain situations. Copyrights made in the U.S. are usually respected in most countries because the U.S. has a multitude of relations regarding copyrights. Additionally, the copyright laws differ between consumer and producer.
The Owner’s and the Creator’s Rights
The U.S. Copyright Act gives the owner of the work rights to reproduce, distribute copies, perform, and display the copyrighted work. These rights are exclusive and specific to the owner, and the consumers who purchase a copy of the work receive property right which allows them to resell the work. These rights are different from the rights that the work’s author or creator has. Distribution rights are grants specific to the copyright holder to change the sale, rental, lease, or lending of a work. This is in order to prevent the illegal distribution of copyrighted works. Much like the distribution rights, the public performance rights also allow the copyrighted owner to change the public rights to a work. This right is held generally for computer software, audio visual work, and some video games. The author or creator of the work has the rights and holds them until transferred onto another. There are limitations on copyrighted works that give defenses against copyright infringement.
The “Fair Use” Policy
Consumers or even critics of such work are allowed to use the work under the “fair use” policy. The idea behind the fair use policy is that any copyrighted work is permitted to be use as long as there is a transformative purpose. Things like teaching, parody, and even critics such as movie critics. Things such as derivative works require some form of transformation — such as a novel becoming a film.
In conclusion, copyright law differentiates between the rights of the creator of the work and the consumer. Although it has been active for a short time, copyrights have had monumental affect within what is legally considered authentic and inauthentic work. Talk to a business lawyer, like a Texas entrepreneurs and new business lawyer, for more information on how to get a copyright for your work.
Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, for their insight into some of the different rules within copyright law.