What is Media Copyright?
The law of the United States has provided a way of protection to the original works of authorship, both published and unpublished. The literary, musical, or artistic works of the original authors are thus protected by means of copyright. The Copyright Act authorizes the owner of the copyright to reproduce the work in copies, produce derivatives of the original work and distribute copies of the work or to perform or display the work in public. The owner of the work can hold these rights exclusively or may give these rights to others. In case of a work in the field of audio recordings, the owner of the work is authorized to perform the work publicly by means of digital audio transmissions. In case of works in visual art, the owner is legally given rights to attribution and integrity. The right to claim authorship of a work, prevent use of his/her name as an author of a work he or she did not create and to prevent distortion, modification or destruction of his/her works, fall under the set of rights to attribution and integrity. All the rights conferred on to the original authors of the works are subject to certain limitations. The doctrine of a fair use of work is exempted from the copyright law and limited uses of works are allowed upon the payment of royalties to the owner of the copyrighted works.
What is a Copyright Infringement?
The unauthorized use of the work that falls under the copyright law is known as copyright infringement. It is an act of violating the exclusive rights of the copyright owners. The illegal downloading of a copyrighted material or sharing of music is a common example of copyright infringement. The secret copying of movies or audio recording or unlawful use of text are examples. Pirated copies of different media that are sold today are the 'best examples' of the same. The popularity that piracy is still gaining is in fact an irony. Unauthorized access to any of the original pieces of work is nothing but copyright infringement.
What is a Copyright Protection?
Copyright protection simply means protection of data from being copied. It is actually the copy protection that deals with mechanisms used to prevent data from being copied without the consent of the owner of the work. Copyright protection is often used in the case of videotapes, CDs, DVDs, video games and computer software. In case copyright protection is not exercised, people tend to go for copied material, thus resulting in a decrease in the sale of original works. Casual copying relates to the copying of media formats on machines. This leads to consumers not purchasing the works of companies and instead opting for copied versions of the same.
Methods such as node locking, floating licenses, grid computing, and tracking of software licenses have been and are being used to assure copyright protection. Copyright protection faces certain technical challenges. Logically, a player that can read and play media is also able to write an exact copy of it. On similar lines, if an audio can be heard or a video can be seen, they can also be recorded. To fight this, some companies came up with media, wherein information is located in such a way that it cannot be rewritten. They devised software that requires for its use, the users' evidence of having purchased it. Media copyright protection uses other methods, which, in some way bind the media to the machine that plays it. This may be done by means of encryption, registration keys, activation codes or serial numbers, which associate the media being used with its owner, thus achieving copyright protection. These types of methods prevent the duplication of work and safeguard copyrights.
Who can claim a Copyright?
When the author creates a work, it becomes the author's property. The author himself or those who derive rights from the author, are authorized to claim a copyright. There is a slight variation in case the work falls under 'work made for hire'. A work belongs to the group of 'work made under hire', if it is made by an employee during his/her period of employment. By law, a work that is ordered for use as a translation, a part of some audio-visual work, a compilation, an instructional test, a supplementary work, a test, its answer material or an atlas also come under work made for hire. In cases where an employee signs an agreement that his/her work made during his employment tenure should fall under this category, the employer becomes the owner of this work. If a piece of work is in the form of a contribution made to a collective work, it is grouped under 'work made for hire'.
Thus we realize that copyright is meant for the preservation of the rights of the creator of a work. Media copyright exists for the safeguard of the owners' rights to their literary or artistic creations. Media are paths by which works in various fields reach the masses. The works are available in various forms to facilitate their spread to the society. Media copyright infringement is an insult of the original pieces of work and their creators. It is high time we stand up against it and resolve to protect copyright.