Copyright and Public Interest in Archives Term Paper

Pages: 35 (14855 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 86  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Drama

¶ … Copyright and Public Interest in Archives in the U.S.A., UK, and China

What, exactly, is a Copyright? Why is it important? A Copyright in general terms means the set of laws and rules that are set up be a government with the primary purpose of affording protection to the authors or the writers of 'original works' of their own, that they have created. These works may be related to the field of drama or to literature or to art or to music, or to anything else where the original creator and his creation need to be protected by the authorities. The author may have published his works or he may have as yet been in the possession of unpublished works; this dose not matter. Copyright laws are established for the sole purpose of affording protection to the author who is in possession of his own original work and needs to protect it from those people who may copy it for their own use. In the United States of America, it is Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act that affords the owner of the Copyright, or the author in possession of his own original piece of work, certain exclusive rights that he may use to protect his work.

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To this extent, the author may do one of the following: he may either authorize another person on his behalf to undertake the reproduction of his original works in a series of copies or in phono-records, or he may do the reproduction himself. He may also produce 'derivative' works that derive form his original work, and he may embark on the distribution of the copies of his work either through phono-records or by plain copies, and may either pass the work on to the general public either through a sale of the copies or by transferring the ownership of the material to another individual, or by renting or by leasing or by lending the copies of the original work to individuals who have been approved by him. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act also authorizes the author to perform the work in front of the general public, and this may often happen in the case where the work is a drama or a pantomime or a musical or a choreographed piece of work, or a motion picture or an audiovisual work of art. The author may also appoint another individual on his behalf, or undertake, himself, to display the copy of the original work in public.

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This rule pertains, for the most part, to literary works and any type of drama or musical or pantomime or any sort of pictorial or graphic or sculpted pieces of work. In cases where the work is a sound recording, then he may perform the work in public with the help of a 'digital audio transmission'. Since the law is binding, it is illegal for anyone to attempt to overcome or transgress on the Copyright Act as has been stated above, and anyone who violates it would be subject to penalty and punishment. However, the rights provided to the author who is in possession of the original work are not unlimited at all. In fact, when the 1976 Copyright Act is examined in close detail, especially Sections 107 through 121, it becomes quite evident that there are quite a few limitations on this Act. These limitations may be anything from a simple term 'fair use', which has actually been given a statutory basis in the Section 107 of the 1976 Copyright Act. Sometimes, the limitation may include the passing of a 'compulsory license', wherein the usage of the copyrighted work is allowed in a legitimate manner, provided certain specific royalties or licenses are given to the users. The protection awarded to an author through a Copyright Law begins almost as soon as, or immediately upon the creation of the work by the author. The author can in fact claim copyright on his work as soon as it achieves a form or particular shape.

However, in cases where the author of the work is not obvious or clearly evident, then the work would come under the title, 'anonymous', and the work would belong to no one in particular, or where no natural person or individual would be identified as the author of the work. Copyright can also be provided for the following: the design of a building in which there is a particular tangible expression of the idea of the building, like for example, when it is a standing building, or an architectural plan, or a drawing of the proposed building. Since a building is a vast space, it is the various elements that comprise and make up the building that are generally taken into account. For example, the spaces, the arrangement of the various elements, and the composition of the various other design elements are all protected under the copyright law, but the general standard individual features of the building would not be taken under the copyright laws.

When it is literary and artistic works that need to be protected under the Copyright Laws, then the Berne Convention is usually referred to. The Berne Convention was signed at Switzerland, in September 1886, in order to afford copyright protection to those individuals who were in the possession of an original work of art or of literature, and all the provisions and acts that have been underlined within the Berne Convention are generally referred to when an author or an artist needs copyright protection for his work. In a similar manner, the 'best edition' of any piece of work is that which is determined by the Library of the Congress of the United States of America, as being the best suited for its own purposes, and copyright would be accorded accordingly.

'collective work', on the other hand, is a collection of works by individual and separate authors, which has been complied into one work by one individual. This work becomes an original work of creation by the complier, and therefore, copyright can be sought for this type of collective work. A 'derivative' work is that which has been derived from any original work, like for example, a translation, or a dramatization of a play, or the conversion of a book into a motion picture, and so on. The 'Geneva Phonograms Convention', signed in Switzerland in the year 1971, offers protection for owners or producers of phonograms of any kind, and this offers these individuals copyright protection against unauthorized duplication and copying of their phonograms.

When an author is seeking copyright protection in the United States of America, he has to, at the outset, register his work, as being of his own making and belonging to him. When he receives the copyright for his work, he may either lease or sell or lend his copyright to another individual, through the provision whereby the 'transfer of copyright ownership' can be achieved. This may be done in the form of a mortgage, or in the form of a lease, or as an exclusive license, or in any other form whereby the other individual would be able to make use of the right in any manner, which he chooses. However, in the United States, a work can be termed a 'United States Work' only if certain terms and conditions are met. These conditions are: the work must have been first published in the United States, if the work has been published simultaneously both in the United States as well as in any other country that grants a term of copyright protection that may be the same as or extend further than the copyright protection that has been given by the United States.

The foreign state may also be a nation that is not a part of any type of treaty party with the United States, and when the foreign state that is not a part of a treaty party, and all the authors and co-authors of the work for which copyright is being sought are either domiciliaries or nationals or habitual residents of the United States of America. When the copyright is for a piece of sculpture or a picture or a graphic, then the work of art must be housed within a building that is located anywhere within the United States of America. The Sections 106 and 106 a of the Copyright Act stipulate that the 'fair use' of a copyrighted work, for such purposes as criticism, for the purpose of teaching, wherein multiple copies of the copyrighted material can be made, for scholarship and research, for reporting, and also for commenting, is possible within the boundaries of the Copyright Act. When the material is put to such various diverse uses, within the description of 'fair', then it will not be considered to be an infringement of the copyright. However, the determination of what, exactly, is considered to be 'fair use' needs to be followed accurately. These include the following: if the copyrighted material is to be used… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Copyright and Public Interest in Archives" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Copyright and Public Interest in Archives.  (2005, June 9).  Retrieved March 7, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Copyright and Public Interest in Archives."  9 June 2005.  Web.  7 March 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Copyright and Public Interest in Archives."  June 9, 2005.  Accessed March 7, 2021.