Copyright issues

Intellectual property rights

Copyright is a law that gives you ownership over the things you create. Be it a painting, a photograph, a poem or a novel, if you created it, you own it and it’s the copyright law itself that assures that ownership. The ownership that copyright law grants comes with several rights that you, as the owner, have exclusively. Those rights include:

  • The right to reproduce the work
  • to prepare derivative works
  • to distribute copies
  • to perform the work
  • and to display the work publicly

The following rights are protected by European Union law [http://bit.ly/1S9Vg5j] :

  • right of reproduction for authors, performers, producers of phonograms and films and broadcasting organisations[4]
  • right of communication to the public for authors, performers, producers of phonograms and films and broadcasting organisations
  • right of distribution for authors and for performers, producers of phonograms and films and broadcasting organisations
  • right of fixation for performers and broadcasting organisations
  • right of rental and/or lending for authors, performers, producers of phonograms and films, with an associated right of equitable remuneration for lending and/or rental for authors and performers
  • right of broadcasting for performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasting organisations
  • right of communication to the public by satellite for authors, performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasting organisations
  • right of computer program reproduction, distribution and rental for authors

In EU the duration of copyright is 50 years.

The European Copyright Code [http://bit.ly/1UHC7db] defines what is protected by copyright. Copyright subsists in a work, that is to say, any expression within the field of literature , art or science in so far as it constitutes its author’s own intellectual creation.

Examples are:

  1. Written or spoken words,
  2. Musical compositions
  3. Plays and choreographies,
  4. Paintings, graphics, photographs and sculptures,
  5. Films,
  6. Industrial and architectural designs,
  7. Computer programs,
  8. Collections, compilations and databases.

It also defines that Authorship is claimed by the author of a work is the natural person or group of natural persons who created it.

Copyright Infringement [source: http://bit.ly/1Lx6YYD] is reproducing, distributing, displaying or performing a work, or to make derivative works, without permission from the copyright holder, which is typically a publisher or other business representing or assigned by the work’s creator.

The ACTA trade agreement [source: http://bit.ly/25bgOWl], signed in May 2011 by the United States, Japan, Switzerland, and the EU, and which has not entered into force, requires that its parties add criminal penalties, including incarceration and fines, for copyright and trademark infringement, and obligated the parties to active police for infringement.

Licensing

There are several licensing schemes that can be used by authors of copyrighted material. Some of these are:

Margrét Halldórsdóttir talks about why copyright is not a problem for her

Hint for Finnish teachers: at the web site www.kopiraitti.fi you can place your own specific copyright question in Finnish or Swedish and get an answer very fast (Kysy lisää / Fråga oss).