Copyright infringement

From ArticleWorld

Copyright Infringement, more popularly known as piracy, is committed by the use of an original work or material without the permission of the copyright owner, regardless of the purpose.

This is particularly true in the United States, where infringement of a copyright can be prosecuted by proving that the copyright was disobeyed.

What is infringement

Infringement or disregard of another's copyright can be done by

  1. mass reproduction of the copyrighted material which is then sold blatantly
  2. copying of copyrighted materials even for private purposes to economize from paying for the price of the original
  3. downloading and recording of music from the internet either for private listening or for vending
  4. copying of movies from CDs or DVD

The creator of an original work does not need to perform an operative act before copyright is accorded him. However, a copyright owner can get more benefits from copyright registration such as getting payment for damages for copyright infringement.

An original work is usually copyrighted from the moment it has been created. The only requisite is that the work has been written or printed or it has been recorded in the case of music and other audio visual work.

Allowable use

The 1976 Copyright Act of the United States however authorizes the copyright owner to allow others to

  • make reproductions of the copyrighted work
  • display the original work in public, an example of which is a painting exhibit or the staging of a musical
  • sell copies of the copyrighted work under a contract

Among the original works that can be protected by copyright are intellectual works such as poems, scientific inventions, scripts, books and movies.

Authorities have found it difficult to protect copyrighted materials worldwide, due to different copyright laws in different countries. There are countries that do not acknowledged the copyright of a material from another country since the latter dos not have jurisdiction over the other country.

The Berne Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property or Berne Convention, dealt with this dilemma. Under the Berne Convention, copyright need not be registered to be recognized as such. The almost 160 countries who participated in the Convention adhere to this principle.

To avoid infringing on another’s copyright, there must be a presumption that a work is copyrighted unless stated otherwise.