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DIRECTIVE ON HARMONISING THE TERM OF COPYRIGHT PROTECTION

Author: Palak Jain, IV year of B.B.A.,LL.B. from Career Point University Kota Rajasthan


Copyright

Copyright is a type of legal protection provided for content producers by the assignment of special rights to works that meet the criteria for security. Copyright's major objectives are as follows:

  • To promote the growth in culture, science, and technology.

  • Copyright holders should be compensated financially for their work.

  • To make information and enjoyment more accessible to the general people.

Copyright establishes a framework enabling interactions between the various participants in investment and business, as well as between rights holders and content consumers. Copyright, like patents and trademarks in all nations, and other inventions (s), is a kind of Intellectual Property.


Global copyright

Because copyright is a legal construct unique to each country, there is no such thing as worldwide copyright law. Despite this, over 180 nations have signed the Berne Convention, which establishes a minimum set of rules for the protection of human interests of authors of copyrighted works across the globe and is maintained by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).


There have also been initiatives in Europe and other places to unify copyright legislation[1]. National copyright rules, on the other hand, may be difficult for multinational corporations with personnel operating in multiple countries and exchanging information across borders.


History of copyright

Several of the Berne Convention's core concepts is "automatic protection," which means that copyright protection begins the moment qualified works are established in a transmission object (such as paper, film or a silicon chip). A “qualifying work” is a piece of writing that meets certain criteria. a profile and performance of a textual work. A film, any software programme, a picture, or indeed any of several other manifestations of innovative ideas — yet copyright law only protects the expression, not the concept.


Copyright treaties at the world level

Several international accords urge countries to safeguard copyright consistently. They provide minimal safety requirements, which every member nation subsequently applies inside this confines its copyright legislation.

  • Berne Convention

  • WIPO Copyright Treaty

  • The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)


Protection of copyright

The Berne Convention stipulates that copyright law should be extended to “literary and artistic works” in all signatory nations, as well as “every creation in the literary, scientific, and aesthetic sphere, whatever its manner or form of expression.”


Scientific papers, term papers, novels, short story collections, poems, plays, and other works of literature; illustrations, paintings, photographs, sculptures, as well as other two- and three-dimensional works of art; films and other audiovisual works are among the categories of works protected by copyright. The detailed list of categories of works protected by copyright and the specific definition and scope of each of them – may vary slightly from country to country, but it generally includes scientific articles, essays, novels, short stories, poems, plays, and other literary works[2]


Copyright duration

Depending on the nature of work, the term of copyright may differ from nation to country (and the particular right in question). Although Berne stipulates that a copyright in a literary work must last for the author's lifetime plus 50 years, in most cases and countries today, the general rule is that copyright in literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic works must last for the author's lifetime plus 70 years (often referred to as "life plus 70"). Specific regulations may apply in some nations that modify or add to the basic norm of life plus 70 years (for example, granting extensions for the period of World War II). Furthermore, before the establishment of the general rule, several nations had various copyright periods in place. The United States, for example, did not establish a "life plus" copyright length until 1978. Because of these disparities in national legislation, a given work may still be protected by copyright in some countries but not in others (i.e., in the public domain).


Public domain

The term "public domain" relates to those works that are freely available to the public.

  • no longer under copyright protection (that is, where the copyright has expired)

  • belonged to a category of compositions that were not covered by copyright laws.

Furthermore, government works are designated by law in several countries (including the United States and, for certain purposes, the United Kingdom) as being in the public domain (not protected by copyright) from the moment they are created. As a result of variances in how national copyright laws define copyright length and identify the kinds of works protected, multiple definitions of the public domain exist from country to country.


Exception and limitation

Exceptions and limits to copyrights are exceptional situations established by law in which the basic concept that the use of work requires the prior consent of the rightsholder does not apply. Such that, throughout the public interest of protecting a balance between both the rights owners' and content consumers' interests, copyright-protected works may be used without the rights holder's permission in some situations.


In general, copyright exceptions and restrictions are subject to a three-step test outlined in the Berne Convention and replicated in several many other international treaties. In a nutshell, the Berne Convention establishes a copyright exception or restriction that only applies to exceptional circumstances.

  • It does not interfere with the work's regular exploitation.

  • It does not unduly jeopardise the writer's vital rights.

Within that norm, the number and breadth of exceptions and limits, as well as who is allowed to profit from them and whether or not they involve a duty to pay rights owners whose rights are so reduced, differ significantly from nation to nation.


Licensing at the international level

Copyright international intergovernmental organisations (also known as collecting societies, "collective management organisations," or "CMOs") operate in numerous countries. Pay royalties for wide-scale use of works on behalf of a large number of rights holders and pay revenues back to rights holders.


There are specialised international intergovernmental groups for different types of works and artists. These organisations are known as Reproduction Rights Organizations in the realm of text and image-based works (RROs).


[1]https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-31177-7_6

[2]https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2006358