CRITICALLY EVALUATE THE JUSTIFICATION AND BENEFITS OF THE COPYRIGHT LAW REGIME AND MORAL RIGHTS PROTECTION

Subject: Law
Type: Evaluation Essay
Pages: 10
Word count: 2574
Topics: Human Rights, Injustice, Justice
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Introduction

Copyright is a law created by the government of the United Kingdom that gives legal rights to the creation of original work. The creator gets exclusive rights to their work in terms of its use and distribution. The exclusive rights protected by the copyright laws are not absolute. A limitation exists that curtails such privileges as fair use. The copyright privileges are only useful for a given period. In addition, the rights only protect the original expression of ideas. The underlying ides are open to manipulation by other creators and inventors as well. Copyright is a kind of intellectual property and applied to various types of creative works on some few occasions, the copyright jurisdiction needs to be adjusted in a tangled form. In such cases, the rights are distributed among more than one author with each other holding a set of rights to license or use the work. These rights are distribution, moral rights, public performances, reproduction, attribution, and control over derivative works.  

Copyrights are also territorial in nature (Macintyre, 2015). This means that they have limitations in terms of jurisdiction thereby the cant be applicable outside the given jurisdictions. Although there have been recent changes in copyright laws to include international standardization, copyright laws differ from country to country. In the United Kingdom, moral rights are aspects of the copyright laws that govern and protect the interests of the copyrighted work of a person such as an author. It also protects other aspects of the copyright such as the economic sector. The moral copyrights are found in the Designs and Pattern act of 1988. These rights identify the author of a given work, which is also referred to as the right of paternity. The integrity rights are the right to counter derogatory treatment of a work.

Justification and benefits of copyright laws

Protects the work of the creators

Copyrights laws have are significant to the creator of original work or ideas in various ways. They also protect the other and provide the guideline for other creators to make their own invention without interfering with already created work. It also gives credit to the rightful creator of various original works. Copyright laws are applicable a creator or author fixes his/her work in a recording medium. This prevents any other person with similar ideas or copying the ideas from publishing theirs and corrupting the original creator. Some of the works that are covered by copyright rights include music, pictures, software, movies, literature, choreography, sculpture and architecture work. These laws prohibit any person from copying the ideas and publishing them as theirs as they are protected under the patent laws (J Davis, 2012)

Baigent v Random House Group Ltd [2007] EWCA Civ 247 is a classical example of copyright infringement. The original authors of the book “Da Vinci code” claim that his work had been copied on various levels using copying language and themes. Peter Smith acknowledged that copyright covers only the expression of ideas, however, he disputed that the copying of his work went deeper than just the underlying ideas but also involved his theme and copying language. Although the defendant objected to copying the work stating that he only used the ideas, his argument did not hold in court. The copyright laws, therefore, protect the original work of the authors from any form of manipulation or copying of the protected content. 

The 21st-century advances in technology have witnessed various cases of forgery as well as imitation of original work. The copyrights laws prevent all these criminals from getting recognizing from somebody else’s efforts and hard work. As mentioned earlier, the copyrights have limitation such as jurisdiction. This protects the works of the artist within a given region or country. This led to cases of copying original ideas and obtains copyrights from other regions away from the jurisdiction in which the work was first registered. However, currently, the international laws have provision for international copyright agreements where the works of artists and authors are protected in all the regions.

Intellectual property

A copyright also gives artist control over their work, particularly creation based on their own thinking and invention. . In many cases, ideas arise from within original ideas. The copyright gives the owner the ability to edit their work, make upgrades or correction, or distribute them in any manner they see fit. This right gives the complete control over their work. When an artist or a creator is assigned copyright, the law allows him to make any necessary changes on the work. Other people interested in making any particular changes or contributions, or in other cases make copies of the work need the direct permission of the copyright owner. This protection from manipulation of artists work provides freedom for the artist to make more work without fear of interference by other parties. Artists need to feel safe when making their own creation (Hewiaon, 2015). They also need to know that their work is recognized and protected. When artists from all aspects gain control over their work, they have more opportunities to create more original work thereby enriching people lives. Control of their work also gives artist pride in what they do. They are recognized for their effort with no disputes form third parties. Although most of the benefits go to the authors, the United Kingdom copyright was formulated to deliver original work to the citizens.

An example of a case regarding the protection of intellectual rights is the Infopaq International A/S v Danske Dagblades Forening [2009] All ER (D) 212. The case features a decision from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) regarding the circumstances under which acts of reproduction should be exempted. The case ruled that an act that happens in the course of the data capture fits within the notion of reproduction as long as it is done within the confines of the intellection production of the creator. It fits within Article 2 of the Directive 2001/29/EC.

Without the copyrights laws, it would have been quite difficult to differentiate between original work and copycats. The artist’s work would have been under dispute repeatedly and the public would not have the opportunity to enjoy the originality of various artists work. The copyright come in handy for both the creators of artists work as well as the public. The justice system would otherwise have a hard time trying to settle cases brought about by misunderstandings on the originality of various work (Kolah, 2013)

Source of income

Copyright also assigns exclusive rights to the creators to distribute, lend, or lease their work. This brings them income on a large scale due to the exclusive rights they own. Before the creation of copyrights, there were frequent cases of forgery in the United Kingdom. The creators of original work had a hard time selling their creations as other people duplicated their work and sold them at a subsidized price. This led to cases after case. However, the exclusive rights accorded to the artist by the copyright ensures that only the original owners of the work get to sell, or lease their work thereby creating income for them. Income is a good incentive for creators. When their income is stable and reliable through copyright, they are able to create more work and enrich the public life with new ideas. The general incentive for their creation is money. Although some artists create work out of passion or charity, most of the artists take their creation as their source of income (Kolah, 2013)

In other cases, the creations are made to provide income for charitable organizations such as Red Cross or any other organization that raises funds to help the underprivileged. In the United Kingdom, for instance, various artists create paintings that are shown in an exhibition during fundraising. The exclusive rights given to the artists can be extended to such occasion to help raise funds. Generally, granting of exclusive rights to artist ensures that the money that comes from their work is controlled and goes to the right people or the right group. Apart from creating income to the owners, the artist also brings revenue to the country. In the United Kingdom, for instance, international musicians such as one direction sell their records all over the country. This brings in revenue to the country as well as income to the music band.

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Promotes creativity

Copyright laws also encourage creativity in various way fields of artistic work. The copyright protects interference or imitation of already existing ideas. This leaves little room for forgery and copying of ideas (Towse et al, 2010). The artists, therefore, strive to come up with new ideas to retain their fame and their glory in their respective field. As mentioned earlier, only the protection of ideas is protected under the copyright, the underlying ideas are open to manipulation and recreation by interested parties. With this in mind, other artists have the right to create new and original ideas from the underlying ideas of those that have already been expressed. With the protection granted by the copyright, developing of new and original ideas is much easier as the artist has nothing to worry about their ideas. In cases where artist create ideas while other imitate the same without repercussion, there will be plenty of counterfeiter in the various artistic field. This will limit the creativity of the people will be more concerned with the creation of imitation and profiting from other peoples efforts. The artist will also view this as a violation of their rights. This will, therefore, reduce the presentation of original work, as the creators will fear the exposure of their work to copycats. 

Fair use

Copyrights protect artists work and assigned exclusivity to various creations of art. However, there is also the issue of limitation of the copyright. These include the assignment of some rights to the public to criticism or evaluate the originality and the significance of the inventions. The other purposes for this limitation of rights are for research, teaching. The fairs use of copyright is noncommercial, and limited to only the activities that do not affect the commercial aspect of the work (Davis, 2012). In any innovations, criticisms are healthy. They help define legitimacy of an art or creation by pacing it and scrutiny. Research is also based on existing work; the fair use clause allows the researcher to conduct further study on various aspects of an original work for educational purposes or for further inventions. 

An example of a case that falls under defenses and criticism is Time Warner Entertainments Company LP v Channel 4 Television Corporation plc [1994] EMLR 1 (CA). This case and its ruling was about protecting a commentator or reviewer that many want to make references or quotations of a copyright work to emphasize on his or her comments, criticisms or defense. In this case, the defendant wanted to use extracts from a film titled A Clockwork Orange in a documentary to show the conclusion of the program that the film should also be released in the United Kingdom (UK). The Court of Appeal ruled that criticism of a work includes a critic to ideas found in the work, social, moral effects as well as the style of the work.

Justification and benefits of Moral rights protection

Moral rights are protected as they define the personality of the author. Moral rights have been in existence in Europe since the 19th century. Moral rights display the personality of the author; this means that any attack on a given work is an attack on the author. The authors, therefore, need protection for their integrity and their work. It is evident that the moral rights of author’s works should be independent of the economic rights. The moral right protection is based understood by their significance to the society in terms of their contribution. Any violation of these rights may lead to lack of recognition of the efforts made by artist and authors, which will eventually diminish their roles in the society (Towse et al, 2010). An artist who feels conformable and secure to get credit and recognition for his work and an author who takes pride in the identification of his rights to win the books he wrote feels safe enough to create work that is more artistic. The continuity of art and writing or any other form of inventions relies on the protection and recognition thee artists receive from the law. To some artist, the mere privileged such as recognition and immortality through the preservation of their work is considered more significant than material things such as income. In such cases, the moral right protection comes in handy for the empowerment f more upcoming artist to pursue their fields of expertise without fear of corruption of their work (Macintyre, 2015).

An example of a case that reflects the moral rights aspect is Salomon v Hilton [2004]. The case involved a sex tape between Paris Hilton and Rick Salomon. Hilton claimed that the release of the sex tape invaded her privacy but the court ruled that it did not. However, the court ruled that she should be paid a sum of $400,000 for her participation in it. 

As mentioned earlier the moral rights are attributed to the copyrights and both these rights link back to their original producer of these arts. The main reason for the existence of moral rights is the protection of the creators of art and writings as their creator’s investor time and resources in their creation. There have been various arguments on the same topic and some arguments state that the moral rights will improve the climate in which artist innovate and create their work. They view it as a reward for the work they undergo to come up with presentable and great ideas in their creations (Kolah, 2013). The other argument for the justification of moral right protection is the creation of an atmosphere where learned people create more books and art for education and not just profitability in the various field of art. This protection ensures that the art and writings are not taken for granted but appreciated for their original worth. 

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Conclusion

It can, therefore, be deduced that copyrights give exclusive rights to the owners of original work. The original work is protected from abuse, manipulation or changes of any kind by any outside party. The owner is however at liberty to make any changes they see fit to their work. In other cases, they can accord these rights to several people who are referred to as copyright holders. Various advantages come with the implications of copyright such as control over the work they create by the artists and the writers. The exclusive rights provided by the copyright allow the owners to make copies, sell or lease their creation at their own will. It is also a source of income for the creators. Their originality makes their products marketable. With the copyright, they are the only parties allowed to sell the art and writings to buyers. Creativity is also fostered by the copyright and the moral right protection. Artist needs to feel at ease while working on their creations. They need an atmosphere that allows them to create and invent new and original work for the benefit of the public. The protection provided under the copyright and the moral right protection encourages creativity and innovations. 

Did you like this sample?
  1. Cornish, G.P., 2015. Copyright: interpreting the law for libraries, archives and information services. Facet Publishing.
  2. Hewison, R., 2015. Culture and Consensus (Routledge Revivals): England, Art and Politics Since 1940. Routledge.
  3. Davis J., 2012. Intellectual Property Law, 4th ed, OUP, Oxford
  4. Kolah A., 2013. Essential Law for Marketers. London: Kogan Page Ltd 
  5. Macintyre E., 2015. Essentials of Business Law. London: Pearson.
  6. Towse, R., 2010. Creativity, copyright and the creative industries paradigm. Kyklos63(3), pp.461-478.
  7. Baigent v Random House Group Ltd [2007] EWCA Civ 247
  8. Infopaq International A/S v Danske Dagblades Forening [2009] All ER (D) 212. 
  9. Salomon v Hilton [2004]
  10. Time Warner Entertainments Company LP v Channel 4 Television Corporation plc [1994] EMLR 1 (CA)
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