What is Copyright?
Copyright is a legal term under many intellectual property statutes. The term means that the creator of a work that must be original has the right to that work. The rights under copyright law are exclusive and last for a specified period of time. The right has many other rights that accrue from it.
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They include the right to be credited in instances where the piece of work is used. The copyright holder has the right to benefit financially from his or her work. He or she has the right to determine who may adapt the work and to ensure that the person who adapts the work upholds his or her moral rights under the copyright.
In its initial stages, copyright was misconstrued as a way of government limiting people from copying without permission. Upon creation of a copyright, the holder gets automatic protection and there is no need for registering the copyright like patents or other forms of intellectual property.
On the other hand, both published and unpublished works fall under the scope of copyright protection (Torremans, 2007).
History of copyright
The history of copyright is traceable to the 14th century. It should be understood that the law got into America through England by the virtue of America being a former colony of England. America made its own laws to protect copyright after the Revolutionary War.
The American constitution empowered the Congress to make laws for the protection of science and arts. The protection accorded by the constitution has helped in founding the other Acts. Authors and investors were given exclusive rights.
With time the rights were intensified to include the protection of writings and discoveries. Federal laws were designed to have a patent clause. The early statutes did not have a conclusive protection, but any protection given was provided for in bills. The protection of a copyright took 14 years that were subject to renewal.
The procedure was distinct since one copy had to be left in the custody of the Secretary for State. By 1790, unpublished manuscripts were further protected. This unprecedented growth and the following economic opportunities were fundamental in necessitating protection of copyright rights.
It was only the author and the publisher who were protected during this time. In America, the Congress passed an Act that was similar to the Anne Statute. The campaign to offer protection to authors and publishers in Europe and North America intensified, thus calling for uniformity in protection of copyright rights.
The copyright laws were continuously revised with major amendments being introduced in 1831 and 1870 onwards (Legal Protection of Digital Information, 2002)
Importance of Copyright
Copyright has the effect of protecting a right that would have been exploited without crediting the creator. The protection affords the copyright holder a right that is to the exclusion of others. The protection under copyright law encourages creation of literary works.
The protection accorded on the copyright holder acts as an incentive to potential literary work creators. It acts as an easier way of avoiding disputes, and in case they arise they are settled amicably since it is becomes easier to identify the infringer and the infringement.
Copyright holders benefit financially in a situation whereby they lease their rights to other people (Legal Protection of Digital Information, 2002).
What is the role of Ministry of Media and culture?
The ministry of Media and Culture is very instrumental in ensuring that essential bills in respect to protection of intellectual property are drafted. This ministry also spearheads the bill to a stage whereby it is passed into law. The promotion of culture and heritage is also vested in the Ministry of Media and Culture.
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The ministry has the mandate of promoting registration and protecting intellectual property rights (Deazley, 2006).
Copyright law in the UAE
President Zayed issued a federal intellectual property law to the effect that copyright and patents should be accorded protection in the country. This has been achieved through putting in place a law that provides for protection, years of protection and licensing and the penalties in case of infringement (UAE Interact 2002).
The protection in this case includes books, articles and computer software. Other written works such as songs also fall in this category. Upon protection, the author has all the rights to deal with the property with the exclusion of others. The registered right makes the owner the right party to sue in court upon infringement.
The infringement in this case entails any form of illegal engagement such as disseminating information and any form of direct recording. The maximum amount of copyright protection is for life, but it is 50 years upon the death of the registered owner.
Any person found using a computer program without the owner’s authorization has severe penalties waiting, which include imprisonment when the offence is repeated. The pirated item in this case is confiscated from the infringer (UAE Interact, 2002).
Procedure of copyrighting your work and type of work that can be copyrighted
The potential copyright right is required to follow the stipulated procedure so that the right can be registered. There are standard forms that must be filled. The forms contain a description of the work, for instance a book or a song, and the names of the potential copyright holder.
A non refundable fee has to be paid to the registrar. It should be noted that application does not mean automatic protection since the registrar reserves the right to reject or allow the protection. The registrar gets the copies of the work intended to be protected.
The nature of the works that can be protected include works not necessary published, but they have originality. The originality of the work plays a major role in being accepted or rejected by the registrar. The registrar has the discretion to reject the application or accept it.
Any literary work that has originality is subject to the copyright law. In the widest protection scope under the international intellectual property law, the rights are exclusive once protection has been accorded (Stim, 2010).
Copyright case study in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Music organizations based in Abu Dhabi have consistently protected rights of musicians. These rights are not only limited to Arabic musicians since American artists have also enjoyed similar protection (UAE Interact 2012).
Regional management of the rights to artists has been intensified, thereby making UAE free from copyright infringements. Individuals now understand their obligations in regard to avoiding infringement. There is substantial growth in copyright law. This growth is spreading to other countries in the UAE.
There are various benefits of understanding copyright law in UAE as a communication and media science student. This is based on the fact that a media science student deals with works of art in many instances. The student should be acquainted with the essential laws to ensure that he or she avoids possible infringement.
Understanding of the law makes it easy for the student to avoid liability. The respect of works of art is possible whereby the person dealing with the work knows what amounts to an infringement. The student deals with the work of art with consciousness on the limits.
A media student can also help in sensitizing other people on how copyright law operates and when one can avoid it. The benefits of copyright law are also discovered by understanding the law.
A media and communication student may develop a right through adaptation. The student may not benefit from the right without understanding the category of the rights.
Deazley, R. (2006). Rethinking copyright: History, theory, language. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishers.
Legal Protection of Digital Information (2002). Chapter 1: An overview of copyright. Web.
Stim, R. (2010). Patent, copyright & trademark: [an intellectual property desk reference]. Berkeley, CA: Nolo.
Torremans, P. (2007). Copyright law: A handbook of contemporary research. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
UAE Interact. (2012). Abu Dhabi fights for musicians rights with pop Arabia. Web.
UAE Interact. (2002). Zayed issues intellectual property law. Web.