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September 16th, 2005 #1
References and advices about copyrightsOk here goes, I know a lot of people are unsure about to go about copyrights, I got some basic informations, if you have more, please post them here, preferably with the sources, so we can have easy access.
I am making my first posts mostly in a north american perspective but these basic infos can apply in many countries because Copyrights and IP issues are subject to many international treaties.
Copyrights in Canada
Strategis copyright guide
Canadian copyrights Database
The Copyright Office is part of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), an agency of Industry Canada. In addition to copyrights, CIPO is responsible for the granting and registration of other forms of intellectual property. These are:
patents — cover new inventions (process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter), or any new and useful improvement of an existing invention;
industrial designs — the visual features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament (or any combination of these features), applied to a finished article of manufacture;
trade-marks — are words, symbols, designs (or a combination of these), used to distinguish the goods and services of one person or organization from those of others in the marketplace; and
integrated circuit topographies — are the three-dimensional configurations of electronic circuits embodied in integrated circuit products or layout designs.
What is a copyright?
n the simplest terms, "copyright" means "the right to copy." Only the owner of copyright, very often the creator of the work, is allowed to produce or reproduce the work in question or to permit anyone else to do so. Suppose, for example, that you have written a novel. Copyright law rewards and protects your creative endeavour by giving you the sole right to publish or use your work in any number of ways. You may also choose not to publish your work and to prevent anyone else from doing so.
What is covered by copyright?
Copyright applies to all original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. Each of these general categories covers a wide range of creations. Here are just a few examples:
literary works: books, pamphlets, poems and other works consisting of text and computer programs;
dramatic works: films, videos, plays, screenplays and scripts;
musical works: compositions that consist of both words and music or music only (note that lyrics without music fall into the literary works category); and
artistic works: paintings, drawings, maps, photographs, sculptures and architectural works.
The word "original" is key in defining a work that qualifies for copyright protection. Naturally, you cannot obtain a copyright for someone else's creation. Originality can be tricky to determine, however, and many court cases revolve around the question of whether a work has been copied, even in part, from somebody else's work.
Copyright also applies to three other kinds of subject matter in addition to the works listed above:
performer's performance: performers such as actors, musicians, dancers and singers have copyrights in their performances;
communication signals: broadcasters have copyrights in the communications' signals that are broadcast;
sound recordings: makers of recordings, such as records, cassettes, and compact discs, which are called "sound recordings" in the Copyright Act, are also protected by copyright.
Keep in mind that there is a separate copyright for musical work, for example, a song, and for the device, such as a cassette, that contains the song. Separate protection exists because the song and the sound recording are considered two different works.
Last edited by Qitsune; June 3rd, 2010 at 11:24 AM.
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September 16th, 2005 #2
Copyrights vs trade-marks, patents, industrial designs
People often confuse copyrights with other forms of intellectual property, including trade-marks, patents, industrial designs and integrated circuit topographies.
Trade-marks are used to distinguish the goods or services of one person or company from those of another. Slogans, names of products, distinctive packages or unique product shapes are all examples of features that are eligible for registration as trade-marks. Sometimes, one aspect of a work may be subject to copyright protection and another aspect may be covered by trade-mark law. For example, if you created a new board game, you might enjoy a copyright on the artwork applied to the face of the game board, the rules of the game and a trade-mark for the game's title.
Patents protect new and useful inventions such as processes, equipment, and manufacturing techniques. They do not cover any artistic or aesthetic qualities of an article. Unlike copyrights, patents can only be obtained by registration.
Industrial designs are protected for their original shape, pattern, ornamentation or configuration (or any combination of these things) applied to a finished manufactured article. The artwork of your game board may be subject to copyright protection. Industrial design protection might be available for the board itself. Industrial design protection, for example, might be available for the shape of a table or the ornamentation on the handle of a spoon. An industrial design may be made by hand or machine. Like patents, industrial designs are obtained only by registration.
When copyright does not apply
Titles, names and short word combinations are usually not protected by copyright. A "work" or other "subject matter" for copyright purposes must be something more substantial. However, if a title is original and distinctive, it is protected as part of the work it relates to.
You may have a brilliant idea for a mystery plot but until the script is actually written, or the motion picture produced, there is no copyright protection. In the case of a game, it is not possible to protect the idea of the game, that is, the way the game is played, but the language in which the rules are written would be protected as a literary work.
Copyright is restricted to the expression in a fixed manner (text, recording, drawing) of an idea; it does not extend to the idea itself.
Other items which are not protected by copyright include:
names or slogans;
short phrases and most titles;
methods, such as a method of teaching or sculpting, etc.;
plots or characters; and
In the case of a magazine article including factual information, it is the expression of the information that is protected, and not the facts.
Facts, ideas and news are all considered part of the public domain, that is, they are everyone's property.
September 16th, 2005 #3
September 20th, 2005 #4
As per wikipedia, the Berne convention which is in existence since 1886 includes the following countries (not necessarily since 1886):
Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Work created or published in one of those countries is automatically protected in all other countries that signed the convention.
It is because of this convention that ' inclusion of a copyright notice is no longer a requirement for copyright protection.'
Copyright under the Berne Convention is automatic: no registration is required, nor is the inclusion of a copyright notice. Additionally, signatories to The Berne Convention were prohibited from requiring any such registration-type formality on foreign authors that would interfere with the "enjoyment and exercise" of copyright. (Signatories are still free to impose registration or publication requirements on domestic authors or those from non-signatory nations, but in practice this is rarely if ever done except that the United States requires registration as a prerequisite to filing suit for infringement.)
The Berne Convention provided for a minimum term of copyright protection of the life of the author plus fifty years, but parties were free to provide longer terms of copyright protection, as the European Union did with the 1993 Directive on harmonising the term of copyright protection. The United States has for many years extending its copyright terms, most recently with the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998.
September 27th, 2005 #5
If registration is not mandatory, why does it exist at all?
Since we already know that our work is protected by copyrights even if we don't register it (as long as we are in one of the Berne Convention countries) we might wonder why some people get into the trouble of paying to register their work with their country's copyright office.
Well, owning the copyrights to a piece of work is of no use if you can't prove it. In the sad case where you have to prosecute someone who stole your stuff, how do you go about proving you made it in the first place? In many cases, registration of a work of art is accompanied by a deposit of a copy of the work (thought not always depending on the type of art.)
Forget mailing yourself a copy, enveloppes are not tamperproof and a bit of steam and patience can do wonders. This kind of evidence doesn't hold for very long in court.
When we started our company, my partner and I talked to the Commissary at CIPO (the canadian copyright agency) and he said that the best way to prove that you did something is to keep your sketches, manuscripts and work in progress. These would often be more work to forge properly than the worth of the piece of art, rendering very unprobable that someone would forge them. If the person had the skill to forge them, they usually wouldn't have bothered copying in the first place.
Watermarks are not fool proof either and can be altered. Usually, if they are too big to be altered, they get very annoying to view. They can be used to stop thieves of the less skilled type (kids over the internet usually.)
----------------------------------------Hope this helps, and if you have any questions about copyrights or more info feel free to post them. I'm no lawyer but I enjoy finding out more about such issues that concern us all.
The Following User Says Thank You to Qitsune For This Useful Post:
February 8th, 2007 #6
When you sell the right to your art you can be as vague or a specific as you want. Specific is better.
Say you are commissioned to do a piece, you should write in the contract what rights you are selling:
What is the use for the piece (publishing in a magazine, printing on fabric, hanging in a living room, billboards)
What is the scope of the use (is the magazine specialised like Scientific American or widely read like the Time)
What is the geographic area (New York, Japan, whole europe, all spanish speaking countries)
What is the time frame (for 1 print run, for 2 years, forever)
The piece should be priced accordingly to the scope of the rights you sell. You may add an exclusivity provision in the contract that says that even if you didn't sell a right to the client, you can't sell it to a competing company.
Selling all rights doesn't mean you are selling the original (source file or physical painting.) It also doesn't mean you are losing authorship of the piece (the right to claim that you did the work and to show it in your portfolio.)
All rights you don't sell remain yours and if you don't have any exclusivity deals, it means you can sell the remaining rights to someone else.
(I took all these info from the Graphic Artists Guild guideline for pricing & ethics 11th ed.)
March 1st, 2007 #7
This goes straight in my "Things i always wanted to know..." folder. i´ve always wondered if saving the wips is the only way for proofing your original work, and obviously it is.
Well, my brother and I intend to build up a label/company during the next two years, where we going to provide the music and art we are producing. ( i know .....what an original idea!) and i hadn´t time yet to get much information concerning legimitate issues, but i think in Austria it´s quite the same situation as in France or UK for example.
Anyway, i´m going to figure this out during the next months......
i would be really grateful if i could bother you from time to time with some questions regarding this topic and maybe learn a little from your experience about starting a company.
March 7th, 2007 #8
April 15th, 2007 #9
May 25th, 2008 #10
July 2nd, 2008 #11
How or When to Sell Your Copyright
Some additional copyright discussion and information that others might find useful. Was originally posted in another CA thread.
The original question:
Originally Posted by DragonSnail
Originally Posted by JessiBeanOriginally Posted by Jessica Hook
August 21st, 2008 #12
What about parodies? Are all parodies free from copyright infringements?
"If one advances confidently in the direction of
his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he
has imagined, he will meet with a success
unexpected in common hours."
- H.D. Thoreau
August 22nd, 2008 #13
This is loosely related:
Fair use provision by the US government.
Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered “fair,” such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:
-the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
-the nature of the copyrighted work;
-amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
-the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The distinction between “fair use” and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.