We talk about Copyright with Ashley Peake Wellman the author of “The Girl Who Dances With Skeletons: My Friend Fresno".
Hello! From Washington, DC. This is Episode 2. Today we will learn about Copyright and talk with a self-published author with a beautiful story about an unlikely friend and a joyful girl.
Before we talk with our guest, the author of “The Girl Who Dances With Skeletons: My Friend Fresno.” Let's talk about Copyright. When we ear Copyright, our minds take us to art, music, film, most likely the blue background warning at the beginning of some films. We also think about sculptures, literature, and any other work of art. But Copyright can also be software, apps, video games, corporate manuals, and presentations. Yes, those PowerPoint presentations.
To encapsule its definition, we can say Copyright is the right creators have over their creations. These rights protect the original expression of the creator, not the idea behind it. For example, the idea of a love story where a couple falls in love overcoming certain obstacles can be expressed in infinite forms. With this idea, we find: Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion, and the rest of Jane Austen´s books. We also have The Notebook of Nicholas Sparks, Jane Eyre of Charlotte Bronte, The Fault in Our Stars of John Green, and countless more. All those novels are based on the same idea, but every single one of them are expressed in different and unique ways. These various expressions are covered under Copyright. Now, let’s take a closer look.
Here are some things you need to know about Copyright:
1. Copyright is born when the expression is born. Registration is not mandatory for protection. However, it is always advisable to register. Registration may serve as proof of authorship and, in some countries, is a requirement for legal processes against wrongdoings. It is also highly recommended if you are planning to license your work.
2. Like any other Intellectual Property, Copyright is territorial. However, thanks to international treaties, a great number of countries mutually recognized and protected most foreign works—currently about 179.
3. A work, meaning the object protected under Copyright, must be an original expression of an idea. Some countries require fixation. This fixation has nothing to with Freud. On Copyright, fixation happens when the work is store in a way that can be replicated, perceived, or communicated.
4. In law, we are usually surrounded by vague definitions; originality is one of those. We can say that a work is original when it is differentiated from other works.
5. Copyright provides two sets of rights: moral rights and economic rights. But! Common law countries like the US usually do not recognize moral rights for all types of works. While civil law countries like the Dominican Republic does.
· Moral rights are centered on protecting the link between the creator and the work. Let´s mention the two common ones. First, to be recognized as the author of the work or to remain anonymous. Second, to protect the integrity of the work, which allows the author to oppose modifications even if someone else holds the economic rights of the work.
· Economic rights are self-explanatory. These are the exclusive right to reproduce (make copies), distribute, broadcast, translate, adapt, and so on.
6. The period of protection can be a bit tricky. The basic rule is usually the life of the author plus 50 years after their death. But we can easily find countries with plus 70 years or more. Some works in some countries may have a different timeframe. For example, in certain countries, photographic works, computer programs, and audiovisual works may only be protected for 50 or 75 years from the day of creation or publication. It is important to consult your national law for more details.
7. Similar to what we talk on the previous episode about patents. There are different actors in Copyright. One is the author who creates the work; the other one is the owner, who owns the work's economic right. They can be the same person, a group of people, or different people or organizations. Some works have a more complex dynamic. So now you know, Copyright is the exclusive right given to an original expression. Let’s learn from our guest about her journey of becoming an author.
Today we have the great pleasure of talking with one-of-a-kind author. She found inspiration under very dire circumstances.
The value of the creation is in itself. The value lies in the author's fixed expressions in the universe that he/she/they created in that set of original expressions that takes us inside the author´s mind and into an imaginary or unique reality. So, that's what Copyright in particular and Intellectual Property in general is. It’s the law that turns the product of creativity into a right.
And, so we come to the end of our episode. See you next Tuesday, with a new guest and a new IP topic.
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