More Copyright, less formalities
Probably anyone who has seen the letter “C” enclosed in a circle, followed either by a name or a year indicator, might have asked itself for the meaning. Here at Legit, we want to make it easy to understand its legal context.
The first international treaty concerning the protection of copyright is the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC, 1971). UCC required a formal registration of the copyright for it to exist. The letter “C” enclosed in a circle indicated three elements: the owner of the right, the year it became protected and compliance with the formal requirements.
All these formalities were removed by a later convention. The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (BC, 1886) introduced the concept of ‘fixed work’. Under this provision no formal requirements are needed for registering copyright in order to benefit from it. The Albanian legislation has incorporated the automatic protection concept in the Law “On Copyright and Related Rights” (2016). The existence and enforcement of copyright requires no registration for the author to benefit from his work. He/she enjoys such a right from the moment of the realization of a creation. Nevertheless, any creator enjoys the right to voluntarily register his work in a special register.
Works protected under Copyright
Modern laws on copyright might provide facilities for the author to benefit from his/her right without complying with legal formalities. Anyhow, a work should be original and to display individual characteristics in order to be protected by the law.
What is not constitutive for a creation to be subject matter under copyright protection?
- Manner of expression
- Form of communication
- Type of work
- Purpose of creation
- Artistic merits
To this extent, works subject to copyright are:
- Written or oral literary works such as journalistic texts, lectures, religious sermons
- Computer programs
- Musical works with or without words
- Choreographic works and works of pantomime
- Audiovisual works including cinematographic works
- Paintings, sculptures, graphics, monumental decorative arts
- Drawings, plans, sketches, graphics creations in architecture
- Photographic works
- Works of applied art: 3D presentation, illustrations, charts
- Maps and drawings in the field of topography, geography and of science
- Cartographic works
- Scientific presentations: dissertations,university lectures, textbooks, drawings, plans, sketches, tables
They are protected as a whole. Hence, the same protection enjoys an unfinished architectural plan, the title of an unfinished song, or any fictional- character part of a draft- novel.
So, anything can be protected under copyright law?
Practically, yes. Any literary and artistic work can find protection by modern copyright laws. Anyhow, certain forms of expression are not legally-covered. Copyright protects only how the thought is expressed – not the mere idea, the theory, or the concept.
Other works, not protected by copyright are:
- Legislative acts and other legal documents, for the purpose of official information
- State symbols, symbols of organizations and public authorities
- Means of payment
- Daily news
- Simple data and evidence
Why is Copyright important?
The author enjoys certain rights in his/her work, which can exploit them as he/she wishes.
- Because he/she enjoys economic rights on his/her work, he/she is entitled to remuneration for each use of his creation.
- Personal non-property rights grant him/her the right to be recognized and indicated as the author of the work. Any person who publicly uses a copyrighted work, is obliged to write and indicate the name of the author in each use.
- Exclusive property rights prevent others from using a protected work without the authorization of the author. Any interested party should previously require permission by the author in order to reproduce, distribute, communicate or create derived works based on a copyrighted work.
Nevertheless, just like the cold November rain, nothing lasts forever. The author enjoys economic rights throughout his life. After his/her death, they pass to the heirs for 70 years. The passage of this time period gives to anyone the permission to use the work without a previous notice or permission. Only the moral rights belong to the author no matter whether he/she is dead, or the economic rights have been transferred.
What you need to know for your business?
- Practically any work- related creation can be copyrighted.
- The economic right and other rights on a work created by the employee belong to the employer.
- After the termination of the employement, the economic rights of the work are given back to the employee. Anyhow, towards a fair remuneration, such rights might still remain in possession of the employer.
- The web- page can be protected as well.
- Any material identified in your webpage enjoys a separate protection.
- Put the letter “C” enclosed in a circle at your web-page, just for validation.
In any case, communication to the public is allowed only when no economic profit purpose exists. Otherwise, if a person is getting paid for providing in another blog the legal content of Legit, this constitutes an infringement of copyright.
Stay tunned with Legit and have your rights protected!