Have you ever written anything original in your life? Then you can be sure of protection by copyright laws. Basically, copyright laws are intellectual property rights that are granted to an original author by the government. Anyone protected by copyright laws can be sure of being an exclusive owner of a document. The exclusive right of an original owner comes with the responsibility of distributing, copying and expressing his work. Materials protected by copyright laws include artistic paints, fiction, nonfiction, sculptures, music, and architectural designs. For one to receive protection from copyright laws, the piece of work must have met certain criteria of requirements. The requirements are listed as follows;
Reduce to tangible form
Every work that is protected by copyright laws must be reduced to a physical form. For instance, have your novel printed or have your music written on a sheet of paper transformed into an audio recording.
Any work that is claimed to your own must be created with a unique idea or expression that has not been published previously in a public domain. In simple terms, what you are creating must be new and different from other works of similar topics when checked by an online plagiarism detection tool. For instance, one is not able to rip a page from ‘Gifted Hands’ book and have it published as his own and at the same time claim copyright over the material. At the same time, one should also note that an idea cannot be copyrighted but rather the expression of the idea. Taking for instance, an idea from ‘the world goes round’ theory cannot be copyrighted but an essay about the same can be protected by copyright laws.
Holding copyright of your piece of work gives you exclusive rights to reproduce your work, distribute it either by giving away or selling a copy to others, create another work from the same, perform your work in shows and even choose how your work is displayed.
Why are copyright laws important?
Creative thinking is a gift that many people have and have the ability to develop life-changing ideas that can sweep the world of its sweetness. The idea of gravity by Isaac Newton from the experiment of having an apple fall far from the tree or the discovery by Nicolas Copernicus that the world goes round are instances of great interventions brought to humans as a result of creative thinking. With other brilliant ideas that are yet to be discovered and others that exist, it could be considered a way of time if the genius minds behind these ideas would be ignored and have other people quickly imitate their works and be noisy about it. With such works and no copyright laws, people would be nosing around boasting of ideas that they do not own.
Now that information technology and the launch of the World Wide Web, information seems to leek faster and this is because of the easy access to information as well as easy communication. With this being said, the theft of ideas instances has also increased. Copyright laws are important as they serve as steps taken to give one the right recognition to own discoveries and not have other people boast of what is not their achievement. Copyright laws are necessary to act as preventive measures against the stealing of ideas. Such kind of laws would also be necessary to design punishments against those who violate the sanctity of intellectual ownership.
What are the foundations of copyright laws?
One foundation of copyright law is the legislation that prohibits people from copying, using or applying for another person’s work without their consent. If it happens that one goes against this legislation, it occurs that he has disregarded the whole idea of intellectual property protection. Upon violation, the owner might not be able to take pleasure in the fact that he took lots of time to put together these ideas and also fail to enjoy the pleasure of exclusive ownership given to him by the law.
How can you tell work that is copyrighted?
Copyrighted ideas or works are identified by the sign © which is normally considered a trademark symbol. So many things on sale such as Tshirts, toys, bags and other valuables have this symbol. Most of them are found in shopping malls, local stores and with easy access of information, the internet could also hold many copyrighted materials.
Results of violating copyright laws
Because these are laws, one should expect punishment upon violating them. When a professional writer or a student is found guilty of breaking this law there are high chances that they could be fined for engaging in such acts. Other punishments for students include being expelled from school, have your degree withdrawn and your career damaged. A student who is found guilty of the violation of copyright laws would not only be expelled but also be blocked from securing a chance in other academic institutions. Because such cases would take legal processes, one could also lose a lot of money from the many lawsuits and court proceedings. Additionally, there is also a possibility of being jailed when found to have violated copyright laws.