What is that right that allows the creator of an original work;exclusive rights to his work? Can this right be legal so that he can use and distribute his work? When the law of a country makes provisions for such rights, it is rightly termed as copyright.Copyright is a right given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. Copyrights include the rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation.A copyright is subject to a specified time period and there are limitations to the copyright law. The original expression of ideas is legally shielded but the underlying ideas do not receive the same.Moreover, copyrights are territorial so they have a jurisdiction limit.
The duration of a copyright covers the author’s lifespan added to another half a century or century. That means a copyright only expires fifty to hundred years after the author dies. Again copyright formalities vary from country to country. The decision to enforce copyright as a civil matter or criminal sanctions is again jurisdiction based.In most jurisdictions an intellectual property lawyer will opt for a litigation free approach because sometimes registration does not prove ownership and copying does not prove infringement of copyright. In some cases the owner has to bear the cost of enforcing copyright. Here the cost to the owner further increases when administrative and court costs come into the picture. This is where a good Intellectual property lawyer can guide the dispute to a direct settlement between both parties.
The software, film and music industry displays copyright infringement with more frequency as compared to others. However in some cases instead of adversely affecting sales it sometimes pushes up the demand for the original work. As an intellectual property lawyer the confusion over copynorms especially on internet related services must be clearly conveyed to an owner beforehand. Knowledge on language of digital rights and database rights could give a clear picture of legal concerns on downloading, streaming, hyperlinking or framing data.
The knowledge and communication of copyright laws must be relevant so that perceived inability to enforce does not result in ignoring legal statutes. The range of copyright is spread over books, music, sculptures, artwork, technical drawing, maps, advertisement, computer programs, films and paintings.
Here the lawyer has to know every nitty gritty of legal protection offered to each owner based on where his workspace figures in the above range of copyright. How it can be registered? Where it can be registered? And post registration procedures if any must be duly completed. Remember copyright touches the lives of everybody and issues are ever present unless the futuristic approach and foresight of an IP lawyer has saved the day for the owner well before time.
WIPO has always administered various international treaties in the area of copyright and related rights. Their Copyright treaty, Performances and Phonograms Treaty, Marrakesh treaty to facilitate access to works for the print disabled have already set high benchmarks for Intellectual Property Lawyers.An IP lawyer with knowledge of WIPO LEX only serves as a blessing for those seeking the legal umbrella of copyright amidst the rainfall of infringements and frauds.
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