What is copyright protection?
A copyright protects a literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic, pictoral or graphic, audiovisual, or architectural work, or a sound recording, from being reproduced without the permision of the copyright owner.
What is the purpose of copyright law?
Copyright law provides an incentive to create software, music, literature and other works by ensuring that the creator will be able to reap the financial benefits of the work.
What rights are protected by copyright law?
The purpose of copyright law is to encourage creative work by granting a temporary monopoly in an author’s original creations. This monopoly takes the form of six rights in areas where the author retains exclusive control. These rights are:
(1) the right of reproduction (i.e., copying),
(2) the right to create derivative works,
(3) the right to distribution,
(4) the right to performance,
(5) the right to display, and
(6) the digital transmission performance right.
The law of copyright protects the first two rights in both private and public contexts, whereas an author can only restrict the last four rights in the public sphere. Claims of infringement must show that the defendant exercised one of these rights.
What is copyright infringement? Are there any defenses?
Infringement occurs whenever someone who is not the copyright holder (or a licensee of the copyright holder) exercises one of the exclusive rights listed. The most common defense to an infringement claim is “fair use,” a doctrine that allows people to use copyrighted material without permission in certain situations, such as quotations in a book review. To evaluate fair use of copyrighted material, the courts consider four factors:
(1) the purpose and character of the use
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work
(3) the amount and substantiality of copying, and
(4) the market effect.