Definition of Copyright in Music

Copyright - What a headache!  October 10, 2011 – 11:11 pm
definition of copyright

I found week two’s task and readings about copyright very challenging, mainly because as soon as I thought I had some sort of grasp or an idea about the subject, I came across new questions relating to it that made my previous ideas redundant.

The first issue I had was to define copyright.

When I looked at how the authors of this week’s readings defined it, I couldn’t find a clear cut definition. So I looked up how other authors and copyright related organisations were defining copyright.

In this document the IFPI says: “Copyright protects creative people against […] unauthorised copying or distribution of their material, which amounts to theft of their livelihood”.

While WIPO says: “Copyright and related rights protect the rights of authors, performers, producers and broadcasters, and contribute to the cultural and economic development of nations. The purpose of copyright and related rights is twofold: to encourage a dynamic creative culture, while returning value to creators so that they can lead a dignified economic existence, and to provide widespread, affordable access to content for the public.”

Passman (p. 208, 2004) says that “the legal [US] definition of copyright is ‘a limited duration monopoly’, ” while Bainbridge (p. 27, 2007) states that “copyright is a property right that subsist in certain specified types of works as provided for by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988”. Baskerville (p. 576, 2006) seems to have the clearest definition, that copyright is “the legal right to reproduce, adapt, distribute, perform publicly, and display a work of intellectual property”.

Source: MA Music Industries

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Fair Use Explanation


A portion:
One of the more important limitations is the doctrine of “fair use.” Although fair use was not mentioned in the previous copyright law, the doctrine has developed through a substantial number of court decisions over the years. This doctrine has been codified in section 107 of the copyright law.
Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reprod... infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.

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