Friday, January 13, 2012

Copyright Infringement Essay

Copyright Infringement Essay

This essay is aimed to analyze what copyright infringement is, study its types and problems connected with copyright infringement. First of all let us find out how copyright infringement is defined. It is usually understood as the use of copyrighted material in a way that violates the exclusive rights of the author of the copyrighted material.

In general copyright is defined as the form of intellectual property. Researchers outline three main types of copyright infringement: 
1) Violations caused by people who do not know about copyright (30% of all violations)
2) Violations caused by people who know about copyright, but do not want to know how to comply with copyright (30%)
3) Violations caused by people who intend to violate copyright(30%)
4) others (the remaining 10%).

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Copyright laws usually refer to creative works and are most often applied to works of authorship; the main categories of such works identified in copyright law are:
1. literary works;
2. musical works, including any accompanying words;
3. dramatic works, including any accompanying music;
4. pantomimes and choreographic works;
5. pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;
6. motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
7. sound recordings;
8. architectural works.

Therefore copyright infringement can also be divided into types according to these copyright categories. A separate domain of copyright infringement is software copyright violation.

Here the following types of infringement can be distinguished:
1) creating a copy of a software and selling it
2) creating a copy of a software and giving it to another person
3) creating a copy and leaving it as a backup can also be considered a copyright infringement – depending on laws and agreements of a particular state and country
4) renting the purchased copy of the software
5) reselling the original software can also be considered a copyright infringement.

It is important to note that copyright covers not the idea of a work of art but the particular expression of the idea; there is a major problem connected with copyright infringement – it is that a lot of musicians, artists, other creators receive their inspiration from other works, and it is rather difficult to measure the degree of inspiration from real copyright infringement.

Copyright infringement is usually claimed where the copied and/or distributed information is used for proprietary or commercial purpose. With the development of technical means of production, electronic mediums etc. the protection of copyright has become more difficult. Even taking into consideration the numerous laws and organizations acting against copyright infringement (for example, MPAA), the level of unauthorized copying is still high; MP3 and movie copying in Internet, and especially software copyright violations are rather wide-spread.

If it is determined that someone is guilty of copyright infringement, there are several kinds of penalties that can be applied to this person; they are: a court order to stop using and/or producing the copyrighted material, confiscation of the materials, and finally, paying the copyright owner certain remedies. The main types of damages that the copyright owner may demand to cover from the copyright infringer are the following: infringer profits, punitive damages, copyright owner losses, statutory damages, and in some cases attorney’s fees.

What can be done to avoid copyright infringement, if it’s necessary to use some part of the work? A right to use the copyrighted material can be acquired by purchasing a license or signing a contract with the author of the copyrighted material; the other way is to wait until the copyright expires, and/or when the work becomes a public domain (i.e. when no person or organization will have a proprietary interest in it).
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