why do we have the copyright law

Copyright is the guardian
of the most precious skill: imagination. Imagination, said George Bernard Shaw, is the beginning of creation. The ability to imagine is what sparks off ideas or feelings, which might then be transformed into a painting, a novel, a new invention or a piece of music. Copyright protects the expression of an idea; it encourages people to 'create'. In our daily life, from the newspaper we pick up in the morning to a recipe for a new dish, nearly everything was created by someone. The fact that people can own the expression of their ideas means they can potentially earn a living by developing them. For example if an individual comes up with a brilliant new painting and someone else simply photographs it and starts mass-producing prints, then the painter is much less able to make a living from his work. The laws of copyright are designed to prevent this happening. The expression of their ideas belongs to people as much as the car or house or DVD player they bought. The individual's - or group's - interest in their ideas, and compensation for their time and effort, needs to be protected. Music and copyright. Copyright has existed for a long time, and has adapted to numerous changes in technology - from the printing press through the vinyl record to the CD, the digital file, and the internet. But the underlying reasons for copyright remain as important as ever. Copyright is a spur to artistic creativity, a basis for the business of music, and a way to let people who have a gift for writing, producing or singing to make a living doing what they - and their fans - enjoy.

When someone creates a piece of music (or a piece of text, a graphic, a photo, a film or anything else that is protected under copyright laws), there is a whole system of legal rights and obligations that comes into play. These rights and obligations outline what someone can and can't do with the material. For example, you can't copy a piece of work and pass it off as your own - as any student who's been lectured on plagiarism knows. You can't burn DVDs of a blockbuster film and sell them in a car boot sale. You can't copy software from computer to computer, or use a photo in an advert, or play a music video publicly, unless you have the permission of the person or company that owns or controls the legal rights in the work. If that person's business depends on earning revenue from their copyright works, you might also have to pay for the permission to use the work. Copyright in the digital world. Copyright gives the people involved in creating music various rights over the copying, distribution, performance and internet transmission of their music. This includes protection for artists, composers, publishers and producers. The rules vary slightly from country to country, and some countries allow limited copying and performance that is truly 'private'. However uploading music to the internet and other indiscriminate copying and dissemination of music files is an infringement of copyright if done without the rights owners' permission.

This is not 'private' but very public copying, especially considering that nearly a half-billion users have instant access to material put on the internet. If this sort of copying and distribution continues without regard for those people whose ideas, talent and skill led to the creation of music, they may be simply unable to continue to create - in which case all of us are the losers. I. What is copyright law, who created it, and why do people think we need it? Copyright law temporarily gives an author the sole right to copy and distribute his or her work. The idea that an author of a work should be able to control how his work is initially distributed goes way back in history. In fact, the Founding Fathers thought copyright laws were so important they included them in the Constitution. gives Congress the power to make laws: [t]o promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited time to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries. If you read this closely, youll notice that copyright law wasnt created to ensure creative people get rich off of the works they create. Instead, the Founding Fathers understood that the public benefitted greatly from individuals creative work. Yet they also understood that would-be creators needed an incentive to create. So they included an Pincentive in the Constitution: Bestowing Congress with the power to grant creators the Pexclusive right to control their creation for a limited period of time.

And when that period expired, the public could legally copy or use that work for any purpose. Reflecting on copyright laws benevolent purpose, the Supreme Court summarized it in one great little phrase: [Copyright law exists to] stimulate artistic creativity for the general public good. Originally, U. S. copyright laws were very limited. For, the length of time works were protected by copyright over the past 200 years. After the most recent extension of the length of copyright protection, authors of creative works are now generally protected for their entire. Generally, modern changes to copyright law can be looked at as responses to the technologies that have made it increasingly easier for people to make exact copies of another persons work. In 1776, you needed an expensive printing press, expensive paper and ink, and a lot of time if you wanted to copy someones book. By 1976, all you needed was a copy machine and a handful of quarters. In 1776, copying a stage play required transcribing the dialogue by hand, word-for-word, over multiple viewings. By 1985, copying a television show was as easy as programming a VCR. And by 2010, copying moviesincluding movies not yet released in theaters. If you have any questions about the policy behind copyright law or its history,P Plegal services. We also offer competitiveP Plegal services on a selective basis. For more information on the services we provideP. Frequently asked questions about this copyright law issue

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