Understanding Copyright


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This was an assignment prepared during my M.Sc. at Lehigh University 2010-2011

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  • This presentation is intended for a Group 16-18 yrs, Technical & Vocational Institute. Students take courses in Music Engineering, Graphic Design, Technical Drawing, Print Work, Dress-making, Material and Visual Design, Welding etc.
  • About protection and preservation of an individual’s work. Copyright is not the right to use the work. (Clear up any misconceptions). Consumers are ‘authorized’ to use the works of another based on ‘terms agreed upon.’ (Written requests, formal contracts). In Trinidad & Tobago, if you are the Creator, no formalities are required as a precondition for obtaining copyright protection. You don’t need to deposit copies or your work at the IPO either.
  • According to the Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Intellectual Property has 2 main branches: Industrial Property & Copyright and Related Rights.
  • Original [ created directly & personally by a particular person; not a copy or imitation; not dependent on other people’s ideas, inventive, unusual]
    Authorship [ gives/assigns the creation of a particular unit of information to a specific individual at a specific time].
    To be copyrightable, it must be tangible [touchable, material, real]. For example written down, captured on film, recorded audio, etc. Therefore, an idea, a dream, a feeling are not copyrightable.
  • Click on the hyperlink.
    Posted on youtube by justkidpro | February 12, 2007
    2007 MPAA, SIFE commercial anti-piracy.

    Accessed on Monday 20th September 2010
  • We are all creators of original expressions. These are personal expressions of ourselves and a form of communication. Ask students if they see themselves as Creators. Do they expect to be recognized for their work? One of the strongest points for Copyright is that the permission of the owner of the intellectual property must be sought. Without Copyright law, the Creator would not receive recognition or fair earnings for his work. He would have no recourse. It is akin to having your work stolen and not being able to do anything about it. Example: Do you know of local struggling artists and comedians? What happens when we buy pirated CDs and DVDs of these artists?
  • Permission is needed to produce a copy of an original work even if you wish to move from one format to another. Example, old French lesson cassettes to cd format (give multiple examples); Machel Montano would need permission to perform or produce a re-make/ version of Cyndi Lauper’s song (even if he uses pieces of the melody, lyrics etc.); French Caribbean Publishers had to seek permission from Michael Anthony (Trinidadian) to have his novel “A Year in San Fernando” translated to French.
  • Copyright may be automatic but it isn’t permanent. Many artists in the past have lost their rights to their work because of ill advice or negligence. Copyright can be transferred to heirs or persons identified in written contracts such as legal wills etc.
  • If you are not a Creator, then you are a Consumer and should consider yourself one. Small portions of copyrightable work may be used by teachers and students but this is not a right. Think of it as a courtesy. It should not compete with the author’s rights/royalties. It doesn’t matter how minimal the use is, you are still required to give proper references. If you are accused, a Court of Law will decide if you have infringed upon the rights of the Creator.
  • Relate the video message to this pics. This is a typical scene in downtown Port-of-Spain.
    How many of you are guilty of purchasing pirated discs?
    What makes it so easy?
    Is it against the law? Why?
  • Cutting and Pasting off of the Net, Downloading Torrents, Photocopying and Scanning. What are the rules and how do these apply to you as a consumer of that information. A Consumer should pay for certain goods and services especially that do not belong to him/ that he would like to own. There are two levels to this that you should consider. Firstly, taking something that doesn’t belong to you and not giving recognition is committing fraud and in some cases plagiarism. Secondly, willfully and knowingly supporting others who are perpetrators of piracy and intellectual property theft is also a criminal offence.

  • Nothing on the Internet is in the public domain unless the owner explicitly states this.
    Everything created privately and originally is automatically copyrighted whether it says this or not.
    This is a violation of copyright law. A Creator’s right to royalties and earnings is denied by such an action.
    This is not a consumer’s decision to make. It may also border on fraud.
    This is fraud and plagiarism.
    This is a direct violation of copyright law.
  • The Copyright Act has been amended to the Copyright Law. This gives law-enforcers more support to curb copyright infringement.
  • Intellectual Property Office is an advisory agent. Complaints regarding Copyright Infringements must be referred to the police/DPP. It can also be settled by private action (private attorney in the Civil Court).
  • They discuss the situations, and share their thoughts. Answers may include: seeking permission from Creators, identifying the kind of work, the publishers and owners, possibilities for agreement and conflict, need for contractual arrangements, consequences for not following the law.
  • Conclusion: Re-cap the questions from Introduction using these responses.
  • Understanding Copyright

    1. 1. A student’s guide to creating and using original works 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 1
    2. 2. • What is copyright? • What are copyrightable works? • Why is it important? • What are your rights as a creator? • What are your responsibilities as a consumer? • Who are the enforcers of copyright law in T&T? • How can you make a positive difference? 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 2
    3. 3. • A form of protection given to a creator of an original work • The right to prohibit or to authorize others to use this original work • An automatic right / registration not required 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 3
    4. 4. • A subset of Intellectual Property Law – It is illegal to copy anything that is protected by an I.P. right • The Copyright Act No. 5 2008 became Law on May 1st 2008, amending the Copyright Act of 1997. 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 4
    5. 5. An original work (literary, dramatic, musical, artistic) of authorship (published or unpublished) permanently set in a physical medium of expression. 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 5
    6. 6. • It is enough to use the word ‘ ’ Example: “ Copyright (2010) by Candice V. Sankars” “Copyright [ ] by [ ]” 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 6
    7. 7. No Books, poetry, songs, movies, plays, paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, architecture, maps, software, databases, newspapers etc. Yes Ideas, discoveries, raw data, translations, political speeches, facts. 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 7
    8. 8. Piracy Video Clip 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 8
    9. 9. • Essential to preserving human creativity – people create, use, share • Promotes and drives innovation – without fear, protected by the law • Gives recognition and rewards expression – permission, earnings & royalties 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 9
    10. 10. The right to prohibit or authorize another to: • reproduce in various forms • perform in public • record/ broadcast • translate into other languages 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 10
    11. 11. • Rights can be waived by written agreement, assigned, transferred – Read the dotted line, A Will is a recognized Contract. • Limits in Trinidad & Tobago 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 11 GENERAL LIFE OF AUTHOR & 50 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH COLLECTIVE/AUDI O VISUAL 75 YEARS FROM DATE PUBLISHED 100 YEARS IF NEVER PUBLISHED APPLIED ART 25 YEARS FROM MAKING OF WORK
    12. 12. • Fair Use – A courtesy extended to teacher & students – Minimal use of original, Not-for-profit – Must be properly cited, acknowledge copyright & owner of copyright – Not decided by Consumer , Court of Law decides 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 12
    13. 13. 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 13 Meikeljohn/Free Digital Photos.Net Newsday Trinidad
    14. 14. • An Enabler? Easy to share, use, copy, modify, repurpose, distribute, quote • Are you breaking the law? 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 14
    15. 15. • Everything on the Internet is in the Public Domain. • Works without copyright notice are not copyrighted. • Distributing works without charging $ is okay. • Reusing works provides free advertisement & marketing for Creators. • Changing words, names or paraphrasing isn’t copying. • ‘Re-mixing’ is an improvement on the original, so permission is not required. 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 15
    16. 16. “It’s not a crime” -Infringement penalty $ 250,000 and max 10 year imprisonment “Nobody gets caught” - ‘$ 60,000/ 2 years imprisonment’ for man in possession of 200 pirated CDs’ 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 16
    17. 17. • Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) • Copyright Organization of Trinidad & Tobago (COTT) • Police Force 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 17
    18. 18. Situation 1 Reggae dancehall Artist Buju Banton decides to remake the Beatles’ Imagine for his new album. What would be your advice to him? Situation 2 The T&T Film Company would like to produce V.S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr. Biswas for the big screen . What are the steps to consider? 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 18
    19. 19. • Creators & Consumers co-exist. • Creativity is protected by Copyright Law. • Copyright infringement is the violation of a Creator’s rights • Ignorance is no excuse, punishable by law • Consumers are responsible and should exercise respect , fair use where applicable 6/17/2014 Developed by Candice Sankarsingh 19