Not art, not music, just copyright
Unlike art or music, definitions of which can prompt hours of philosophical debate, copyright is a rather fixed concept that generally has a fixed definition. It refers to the sole (exclusive) right to reproducing and creating derivative works based on a tangible piece of creative work, and usually rests with the original creator of a work upon creation. It generally applies to creative works of all forms, like writings, music and film.
The international symbol for copyright, A copyright is an exclusive right to reproduce a piece of work or an original idea. [Self-made image]
At present, copyright is almost a universal right. In most places in the world, copyright is granted to the original creators of a work without the creators’ having to put any notice or file any application.
That is to say, it would be unlawful for anyone to copy or produce a work that builds substantially on our website without our permission, as we hold its copyright. We hold it, even without filing any application to our Intellectual Property office. For our permission to reproduce our site, feel free to drop us an e-mail. Just remember our US$10 000 Amazon gift certificate.
(You’ll learn later that, of course, we don’t hold its copyright forever and that it is possible to reproduce reasonable quantities under certain restrictions under the fair use or fair dealing doctrine.)Back to top
Copyright can be transferred
Imagine how difficult commerce can be if copyright were stuck with one person all the time. As one would expect, it is possible to transfer copyright from entity to entity, and this is often done for something commercially valuable through a legal document and in exchange for money. As we said earlier, information, in this knowledge-based economy is cold, hard cash. The philanthropic can also donate (the actual term is release) their copyright to the public domain and allow anyone to reproduce or build on their work without permission.
Copyright does not last forever, except in a few special cases. It usually expires after twenty-five to one hundred years following the author’s death or the first publishing of the work. So here we have a difference between cash and copyright: cash can be inherited, but copyright usually can’t be. It just expires after a certain period of the creator’s death.