Copyright Term Extension Act Wikipedia

The statute prevented a monopoly on the part of the booksellers and created a “public domain” for literature by limiting terms of copyright and by ensuring that once a work was purchased the copyright owner no longer had control over its use. While the statute did provide for an author’s copyright, the benefit was minimal because in order to be paid for a work an author had to assign it to a bookseller or publisher. Legislatures and courts in some countries have attempted to adapt copyright law to meet the challenges presented by technological advances. In most instances those adjustments have involved strengthening the entitlements of copyright owners. In 1998, for example, the United States passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which expanded owners’ control over digital forms of their creations and penalized persons who sought to evade technological shields (such as encryption) for copyrighted material. One effect of such legislation was that consumers’ opportunities to engage in activities that previously would have been considered “fair uses” were curtailed significantly.

  1. At any time during the lawsuit, the court may order the impoundment of any and all copies of the infringing products.
  2. The treaty was the result of efforts by the World Blind Union (“WBU”), library and civil society organizations to address the need to combat barriers to access, including with respect to new digital technologies for blind and visually impaired persons.
  3. The ruling enhanced the protections available to the originators of open-source software, which allows readers to view its programming or source code, improve it, then redistribute the resulting software in its modified form.
  4. Instead, copyright protection is territorial in nature, which means that copyright protection depends on the national laws where protection is sought.

Finally, the attorneys argued that computer code is speech and is therefore protected under the first amendment to the US Constitution. In December 1994, President Clinton signed the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA) which implemented the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) including Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPs). On January 1, 1996, copyright for works from eligible countries was restored. The culmination of the NII Working Group’s efforts was release of the white paper in September 1995. The white paper contained recommendations to amend the Copyright Act of 1976 and presented a lengthy legal analysis of current copyright law.

Duration of copyright

For works whose country of origin within the meaning of the Berne Convention is a third country and whose author is not a Community national, comparison of terms of protection should be applied, provided that the term accorded in the Community does not exceed the term laid down in this Directive. The Member States should remain free to maintain or introduce other rights related to copyright in particular in relation to the protection of critical and scientific publications. In order to ensure transparency at Community level, it is however necessary for Member States which introduce new related rights to notify the Commission. The Diplomatic Conference held in December 1996, under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), led to the adoption of the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, which deals with the protection of performers and producers of phonograms. This Treaty took the form of a substantial up-date of the international protection of related rights.

Copyright Protection: What it Is, How it Works

In the United States, the cost of copyright registration ranges from $45 to $500. However, lack of notice might be a relevant factor in determining the merits of an innocent infringement defense. Copyright is the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something. As a general rule, if you are using a small portion of somebody else’s work in a non-competitive way and the purpose for your use is to benefit the public, you’re on pretty safe ground.

All of a particular author’s works, including successive revisions of them, would fall into the public domain at the same time, thus avoiding the present problems of determining a multitude of publication dates and of distinguishing “old” and “new” matter in later editions. The bill answers the problems of determining when relatively obscure authors died, by establishing a registry of death dates and a system of presumptions. Member States may protect critical and scientific publications of works which have come into the public domain. The maximum term of protection of such rights shall be 30 years from the time when the publication was first lawfully published. In June 2013, after years of negotiations, WIPO convened a diplomatic conference that resulted in adoption of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (“Marrakesh Treaty”). The treaty was the result of efforts by the World Blind Union (“WBU”), library and civil society organizations to address the need to combat barriers to access, including with respect to new digital technologies for blind and visually impaired persons.

This treaty had long been considered by WIPO, and a previous attempt at a diplomatic conference in 2000 on this issue failed. Upon conclusion of the 2012 diplomatic conference, the Beijing Treaty became the first WIPO copyright treaty adopted since the 1996 WIPO Internet Treaties (WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty). The treaty provides performers in audiovisual works exclusive moral and economic rights over their performances, including the rights of attribution, integrity, reproduction, and distribution. Forty-nine countries, including the United States, signed the treaty at the conclusion of the diplomatic conference, and as of April 2014, the Beijing Treaty has seventy-two signatories, but only Botswana and the Syrian Arab Republic have ratified the agreement. The Beijing Treaty requires thirty ratifications before it will enter into force. In Lexmark v. Static Control Components, Lexmark sued Static Control Components to block third–party suppliers from providing discount ink cartridges compatible with Lexmark’s printers.

Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site. The initial owner of the copyright to a work is the author, unless that work is a “work made for hire”. The Congress shall have Power […] to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries. A work is fixed when it is captured (either by or under the authority of an author) in a sufficiently
permanent medium such that the work can be perceived, reproduced, or communicated for more than a
short time. All works published prior to October Revolution (7 November 1917) are believed to be uncopyrighted.


The court found that a commercial use could be a fair use especially when the markets for an original work and a transformative work are different (Vaidhyanathan, ). Information contained on this website is educational in nature and is not to be construed as legal advice. The framers of the Constitution were convinced that the dissemination of knowledge was of critical importance to the new nation and that establishing a national copyright system was an efficient means to advance that goal. Nonprofit libraries, archives, education institutions and public broadcasting entities are exempt from criminal prosecution.

Who is a copyright owner?

The UCITA Standby Committee, responsible for drafting UCITA, proposed thirty-eight amendments. Those amendments were adopted despite a lengthy debate in which delegates pushed for additional changes. Forty delegates signed a petition to downgrade UCITA from a “uniform law” to a “model law,” a move that would remove NCCUSL’s obligation to promote the law in state legislatures. Although the effort was unsuccessful, the debate revealed widespread disenchantment with UCITA within NCCUSL.

In addition to the civil remedies, the Copyright Act provides for criminal prosecution in some cases of willful copyright infringement. There are also criminal sanctions for fraudulent copyright notice, fraudulent removal of copyright notice, and false representations in applications for copyright registration. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act imposes criminal sanctions for certain acts of circumvention and interference with copyright management information. There are not criminal sanctions for violating the rights of attribution and integrity held by the author of a work of visual art.

Database Protection Legislation

Virtually every other copyright law in the world bases the term of protection for works by natural persons on the life of the author, and a substantial majority of these accord protection for 50 years after the author’s death. It is worth noting that the 1965 revision of the copyright law of the Federal Republic of Germany adopted a term of life plus 70 years. A very large majority of the world’s countries have adopted a copyright term of the life of the author and 50 years after the author’s death. Since American authors are frequently protected longer in foreign countries than in the United States, the disparity in the duration of copyright has provoked considerable resentment and some proposals for retaliatory legislation. Copyrighted works move across national borders faster and more easily than virtually any other economic commodity, and with the techniques now in common use this movement has in many cases become instantaneous and effortless.

In advance of the WIPO SCCR 24 held in July 2012, numerous documents regarding limitations and exceptions for education were submitted for distribution to the WIPO Secretariat. The Africa Group previously submitted a comprehensive proposal on limitations and exceptions for persons who are visually impaired or otherwise print disabled, libraries and archives, and education. On June 24, 2012, member states of WIPO concluded the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, designed to provide legal protection to performers in audiovisual works.

In July 1999, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) passed the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act (UCITA, formerly UCC 2B). UCITA is a proposed state law that seeks to create a unified approach to the licensing of software and information. Maxtone-Graham wrote a book containing women’s stories of unwanted pregnancy and abortion in 1973. She denied Burtchaell’s request to use excerpts from her published interviews. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that quoting 4.3% of an author’s work was not excessive and that Burtchaell’s use of the narratives was a fair use. The cost of registering a copyright varies depending on what you are copyrighting and whether you are filing online or by paper.

In addition, the Court’s ruling recognized that certain archival media, such as microfilm and microfiche, do not infringe freelance authors’ copyrights. Ultimately, The New York Times and other publishers chose to remove the freelance writers’ works, as many as 115,000 articles, from Lexis/Nexis and other full-text databases if the writers did not waive their claims for compensation under the decision. Copyright protection rules are fairly similar worldwide, due to several international copyright treaties, the most important of which is the Berne Convention. Under this treaty, all member term of protection of copyright countries — and there are more than 100, including virtually all industrialized nations — must afford copyright protection to authors who are nationals of any member country. This protection must last for at least the life of the author plus 50 years and must be automatic without the need for the author to take any legal steps to preserve the copyright. Works in the public domain are those that are never protected by copyright (like facts or discoveries) or works whose term of protection has ended either because it expired or the owner did not satisfy a previously required formality.

Leave a Comment