BlogEvents & NewsWorld Book and Copyright Day

April 23, 20220
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“There is no book so bad…that it does not have something good in it.”

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote (1605)

 

Historical background 

 

In 1995, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized April 23 as “World Book and Copyright Day“. The resolution adopted at the 28th session of the UNESCO General Conference aimed at the protection of intellectual property – especially copyright – through reading and continuous support of new publications.

This day was not selected by coincidence. April 23 marks the birth and death of the most important figures of literature. Shakespeare, Cervantes, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died on April 23, 1616. Vladimir Nabokov, Maurice Druon and Manuel Mejía Vallejo were born on the same date, so April 23 was designated as the World Book Day, to honor their names and creativity.

According to some urban legends, this date has its origin in Catalonia. April 23 was celebrated as St. George’s Day, and for that reason booksellers used to give buyers a rose for each book sold.

 

Books, authors and legislation

 

April 23 serves itself as a tool to raise awareness on the importance that creativity has in economic, social and cultural development. Today, expressed forms of creativity are legally protected by national and international acts. The most important international instrument is the “Berne Convention”, at the core of which lies the author’s right to benefit from the creation of his intellectual capacity. The principles and concepts of this convention are also incorporated in the law no. 35/2016 “On copyright and related rights“.

The most important principle of these instruments is the protection of copyright without formalities. Hence, at the moment the author writes a book, he enjoys economic and moral rights over it, even if the final draft has not finished yet, or he has no intention to register his right in a special state’s register.

However, works of art should be original and show individual characteristics in order to enjoy protection from the legislation.

 

What is copyright?

 

Copyright is the protection of the economic and moral interests of the author on any original intellectual creation in the field of literature, art and science, which carries individual characteristics, regardless of the manner or form of their expression, objective, or importance.

Any part or element of a work, including its title or a character expressed therein, which in itself represents intellectual creativity, is also protected by copyright.

For example, if copyright laws existed at the time Cervantes wrote “Don Quixote,” the book, its  title, and the character of Don Quixote would enjoy the same protection. Unfortunately Servantes, in the absence of laws that would protect his rights, and to avoid the use of Don Quixote by other writers in their works, decided to kill the character.

Now the authors do not have to kill the characters, at least for the same reason. 🙂

 

Copyright duration 

In Albania, authors’ economic rights on a copyrighted work last for 70 years after their death, whereas, moral rights pass on to his heirs. However, once the copyrighted term expires, the work enters the public domain and anyone is free to use it – respecting the legal limitations of moral rights.

“We know what we are, but not what we may be.”

William Shakespeare

 

Today we can choose to be the reader of our favorite writer, to gift a book, be conscious citizens on the importance that  copyright protection has in the promotion of creativity and people’s culture, or simply put:  just acquaintances who share title suggestions with  each-other.

You can be #legit by suggesting 3 book titles below! 🙂

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