What Is a Copyright?


Having a copyright in the United States means that you have a monopoly on the original works of authorship. It is the responsibility of the copyright owner to protect this monopoly from unauthorized distribution. There are different types of protections provided by the copyright act.

Dastar v Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

During the early 1980s, Fox purchased the exclusive television rights to a WWII book called Crusade in Europe. They later reacquired the video rights. In 1988, Fox and Dastar worked out a license for the Crusade in Europe videos. However, when Dastar released its version of the book, it called it “World War II Campaigns in Europe,” instead of “Crusade in Europe,” which was the name of the original series.

The campaign name supposedly referred to the fact that Dastar’s video was half as long as the original series. In addition, the video contained a few minor modifications. The video’s title, packaging, and labeling were also changed.

Berne Convention

Often referred to as copyright, the Berne Convention and copyright act are international agreement that protects the rights of authors, artists, and musicians. Its key provisions establish minimum standards for copyright protection and mandate non-economic moral rights for authors.

The Berne Convention and copyright act are administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization. Its main purpose is to establish the equal treatment of copyright laws in member countries. It also protects copyrighted works from infringement by foreign pirates.

The United States joined the Berne Convention in 1989. Since then, the country has been updating its law to keep up with technological developments. The new Copyright Act brings U.S. law into line with the new convention. It removes copyright notice requirements for publically distributed copies of protected works. It also authorizes the Copyright Royalty Tribunal to suspend ratemaking activities while conditions are met.

Berlin Act

Generally, copyright is a legal shield for creators and publishers against unauthorized copying of their work. In the United States, it is administered by the Library of Congress. In the past, it was up to individual countries to ratify the Berne Convention, which set a standard for copyright protection across the board. The United States became a signatory in 1988.

The most interesting part of the act is that the Library of Congress has taken over the administration of the copyright registration process. As a result, American authors are now protected by the same rules as their European counterparts. This, in turn, has allowed the US to establish new copyright relationships with 24 countries.

Copyright Term Extension Act

Several copyright extension acts have been passed in the United States over the last forty years. In 1998, the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act was passed. It extended the protection of works by extending the term of copyrights from fifty to seventy years after an author’s death. The DMCA was also passed, which extended the term of copyrights for works registered before 1978.

In 1999, a coalition of artists, performing rights organizations, archivists, and scholars filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court in Washington, D.C. against the CTEA. Their arguments centered on the constitutionality of the Act.

The challengers argued that the Act exceeded the power of Congress and violated the First Amendment. Their lawsuit was eventually appealed to the Supreme Court. The Court refused to take the case and the issue was not revived until 2010.

Some critics of the CTEA have argued that the Act is unconstitutional. They point to the fact that it does not provide a public benefit. They also argue that the term is too long, which inhibits the advancement of science.

Fair use exemptions in Kelly v Arriba Soft case

Using a search engine to display copyrighted works may not be as straightforward as you think. Leslie Kelly charged Arriba Soft with copyright infringement after he found reproductions of his images on the search engine results page.

The Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s decision, holding that Arriba’s use of Kelly’s work as thumbnails was fair use. The court analyzed four statutory factors that are used in fair use analyses.

The first factor is whether the use is commercial. In this case, the court weighed the amount of profit involved. It also considered the purpose of the use, and how the user might affect the market value of Kelly’s work.

DMCA Section 1201

Almost 25 years ago, Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which outlawed the circumvention of technological protection measures. These measures were used by copyright holders to prevent users from accessing their works.

Although the statute prohibits this type of circumvention, it does not provide a safe harbor for users. In addition, it can interfere with fair use and socially beneficial uses of copyrighted works. This has led to a new wave of accusations under Section 1201 that enables copyright “trolling,” which occurs when a sale or license of a work for less than $200 in statutory damages occurs.

There are three key exemptions that ensure consumers can install applications of their choice. Specifically, the motion picture, classroom display, and encryption research exemptions enable documentary filmmakers, noncommercial video creators, and educators to make fair use of copyrighted materials.