Copyright and related topics
author - "he to whom anything owes its origin;
originator; maker " Burrow-Giles
Lithographic Co. v. Sarony (1884)
Berne Convention - Convention for the
Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, signed at Berne, Switzerland,
on September 9, 1886, subscribed to by over 77 nations, including all
major trading countries, with the notable exception of Russia.
compilation - a work, such as a book, file,
document, or list, composed of materials gathering from other sources
(books, files, documents, or lists). Since, by definition, a compilation
is prepared from pre-existing materials, all that copyright will protect
in a compilation is the selection and/or arrangement of the the materials,
provided that the selection and arrangement is sufficiently original.
copyright - exclusive intellectual property
right granted to "authors" under the U.S. Copyright Act. It provides
exclusive rights for their works of authorship, including the rights to
reproduce (copy), create derivative works, distribute, publicly perform,
and publicly display. Works covered by copyright include: literary,
dramatic, choreographic and musical works; databases; photographs and
other graphic images; and motion pictures, sound recordings, and other
derivative work - is a work based upon one
or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement,
dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording,
art reproduction, abridgement, condensation, or any other form in which a
work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of
editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications
which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a
knowledge or information based on real occurrences; a thing
that has been done; something shown to exist; something known to have
existed; a real occurrence; something believed to be true; an event
fair use - a concept of copyright law in
which a limited copying of copyrighted material is permissible under some
circumstances such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching,
scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. Factors to
be used in determining if usage is fair use include: the purpose and
character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature
or is for nonprofit educational purposes; the nature of the work; the
amount work used; and the market value impact on the copyrighted work.
fixed - in a form that has some permanency.
A pen writing on paper fixes the ink to the paper. A
keyboard writing to computer memory fixes nothing, as the
computer memory is not permanent. Unless the information is saved, it is
lost when the computer is shutdown or the program is closed. If a
comic is adlibbing to his audience, there is nothing fixed in
permanent form from his performance. When the same comic performs to
an audience on HBO, that performance is fixed on the
recording medium used to tape the show.
intellectual property - As defined by
Article 2, section (viii), of the Convention Establishing the World
Intellectual Property Organization, done at Stockholm, July 14, 1967,
"intellectual property" shall include the rights relating to: literary,
artistic and scientific works, performances of performing artists,
phonograms, and broadcasts, inventions in all fields of human endeavor,
scientific discoveries, industrial designs, trademarks, service marks, and
commercial names and designations, protection against unfair competition,
and all other rights resulting from intellectual activity in the
industrial, scientific, literary or artistic fields.
infringement - violation of the exclusive
rights granted by the copyright law.
licensing - contractual agreements granting
permission for the use of intellectual property under specific
conditions. Some online licenses impose limits beyond what is covered
under copyright law.
litigation - civil action in which a legal
controversy is taken before a court.
Litigation is a machine which you go into
as a pig and come out as a sausage.
-- Ambrose Bierce
notice - once required by law, a proper copyright
notice had to include the copyright symbol (Ó),
the date, and the name of the copyright owner. Works that did not bear a
proper copyright notice entered the public domain upon publication. A
copyright notice is no longer required and the lack of a notice, except in
older works where it was required, is no longer a good indicator that the
work is in the public domain.
plagiarism - Using the ideas or words of
others without acknowledging the source. This is true even if the ideas of
someone else are paraphrased or summarized. In scholarly research,
plagiarism is considered unethical and dishonest.
public domain - a term referring to the
status of a work that has no copyright protection. It literally means that
the work belongs to everyone and is available for unrestricted access to
anyone who wants to use it. Neither permission nor source citation is
required for its use, though failure to cite the source could be
considered as plagiarism.
perform - To "perform" a work means to
recite, render, play, dance, or act it, either directly or by means of any
device or process or, in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual
work, to show its images in any sequence or to make the sounds
accompanying it audible.
publication - distribution of copies or
phonorecords of a work to the public by sale or other transfer of
ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending. The offering to distribute
copies or phonorecords to a group of persons for purposes of further
distribution, public performance, or public display, constitutes
publication. A public performance or display of a work does not of itself
science and the useful arts - the Constitution
mandate on copyright was intended to encourage the dissemination
(progress) of knowledge (Science) and technology (useful Arts) to the
tangible form - able to be perceived either
directly or by the aid of a device.
trademark - a name, image, word, phrase,
symbol, device or any combination of these that is used to identify a
company, its goods and services from those of other companies. To be
recognized as a trademark in the U. S., it must be registered with the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
work - in copyright law, a universal phrase used
for any product of expression that might be protected under
copyright, including: a book, a poem, a composition, a movie, a video, an
audio recording, a letter, a map, an architectural drawing, a compilation,
a computer file, a computer program, an email message, a photograph, a
painting, a statue, and many others, fixed in forms now known or yet to be
writings - In
Trade-Mark Cases (1879), the Court determined that for a work to be
the head of writings of authors, originality is required" and that "the
writings which are to be protected are the fruits of intellectual labor,
embodied in the form of books, prints, engravings, and the like."