Copyright refers to the rights that you can obtain over your artistic and literary works. It covers a wide range of works, including books, technical drawings, music, maps, paintings, and advertisements, among others.
What Protection does Copyright Provide?
The protection only covers expressions. It does not extend to ideas, mathematical concepts, procedures, or operation methods.
Copyright can protect the following range of works:
- Literary works like novels, newspaper articles, poems, reference works, and plays.
- Advertisements, technical drawings as well as maps.
- Databases and computer programs.
- Architectural works.
- Films, choreography as well as musical compositions.
- Paintings, sculptures, drawings and other types of artistic works.
What are the Rights of an Author?
As far as copyright protection is concerned, an author has two fundamental rights:
- Economic rights that grant you the freedom of deriving financial benefits when others use your works.
- Moral rights that provide protection for interests that are non-economic in nature.
Economic Rights can either Authorize or Prohibit the following:
- Reproduction of the works by way of sound recordings and printed publications.
- Adaptation of the works into other forms.
- Public performance through musical work or plays.
- Translation into Chinese, French or other languages.
- Recording in form of DVDs and CDs.
- Broadcasting via radio, satellite, and cable.
Do I have to Register my Copyright?
Copyright protection can be obtained without necessarily registering it or following other formalities.
However, most countries have put structures in place to enable voluntary registration. These systems play important roles in the resolution of disputes involving ownership of creation and facilitation of financial transactions, transfer/ assignment and sale of rights as well.
Is it Possible to Obtain International Protection for my Works?
In all countries that subscribe to Berne Convention, protection is automatic.
Even though nuances may be present in specific laws of countries that are party to the convention, the degree of harmony is very high.
Can I Obtain a License for my Works?
When you become the legitimate owner of certain works, you are at liberty to authorize others to carry out commercial exploitation.
Before you negotiate a licensing arrangement, it is important to seek legal advice from experts.
If you intend to license the work to broadcasters, entertainment establishments or publishers, you should first become a member of a reputable CMO. The Collective Management Organization will monitor how the work is used, collect remuneration and also negotiate licensing agreements on your behalf.
What action should I take if I discover that someone has reproduced my work without authorization?
Before commencement of any action, you must first establish if the reproduction actually infringes your rights. If you establish that infringement has actually occurred, you ought to identify the responsible party and file a lawsuit in a court of law.