Law and communication


Outcome 2: Copyright





Explain the existing laws of copyright and explain the main principles and background of copyright law


The active copyright law is the copyrights; designs and patents act of 1988. Copyright law gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, sound recordings, broadcasts, films and typographical arrangement of published editions rights to control the ways in which their material may be used. Copyright is essential because it guards the interests of those who create, and those who invest in creativity. If there were no copyright, it would be impossible for creative people to make money from their creativity. The rights cover; broadcast and public performance, copying, adapting, issuing, renting and lending copies to the public. In lots of cases, the maker will also have the right to be acknowledged as the author and to object to changes and mutilations of his work. International conventions give UK copyright protection in most countries, subject to national laws. Copyright occurs whenever an individual or corporation creates a work: A work is subject to copyright if it is considered as original, and must exhibit a degree of labour, skill or judgment. Copyright will not exist in names, colours or ideas, but will exist in a work collected of these elements. In short, copyright may guard a work that puts across an idea but not the idea behind it. Usually the person or collective who created the work will entirely own the copyright. Though, if a work is created as part of employment then usually the copyright belongs to the person/company who hired the person. Copyright does not subsist in any part of a work which is a copy taken from a prior work. In a piece of music containing samples from a previous work, the copyright of the samples would still remain with the original author. Only the owner or his exclusive licensee can bring proceedings in the courts.


Different types of works have different durations of copyright. For literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works 70 years from when the author of the work dies, or, if the work is of unknown authorship: 70 years from end of the year in which the work was created, or if made available to the public in that time, 70 years from the end of the year that the work was first made accessible. Sound Recordings and broadcasts
50 years from the end of the year in which the work was created, or, if the work is released within that time: 50 years from the end of the year in which the work was first made accessible. Films: 70 years from the end of the year in which the last principal director, author or composer dies, if the work is of unknown authorship: 70 years from end of the calendar year of creation, or if made available to the public in that time, 70 years from the end of the year the film was first made accessible. Typographical agreement of published editions 25 years from the end of the year in which the work was first published. Broadcasts and cable programs50 years from the end of the year in which the broadcast was created. An example of a copyright case is that of composer Monty Norman. Norman sued the Sunday times in 1997 over defamation and owner of copyright. Monty Norman had the copyright since 1962 for the James Bond theme that was used in all the subsequent bond films. The Sunday times credited John Barry with writing the distinctive twanging guitar tune, and Norman then sued for defamation and won receiving in excess for £500,000.


It is an illegal to do any of the following acts without the permission of the copyright owner: copy the work, rent, lend or issue copies of the work to the public, perform, broadcast or show the work in public, adapt the work. The author of a work or director of a copyright film may also have certain moral rights; the right to be recognized as the author, right to object to critical treatment.



Acts that do not infringe copyright are fair dealing is a term used to describe acts which are permitted to a certain degree (normally copies of parts of a work) without infringing copyright,