Copyright covers literary works (such as novels, poems and plays), films, music, artistic works (e.g., drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures) and architectural design. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and broadcasters in their radio and television programs.
Copyright laws grant authors, artists and other creators protection for their literary and artistic creations, generally referred to as “works”. A closely associated field is “related rights” or rights related to copyright that encompass rights similar or identical to those of copyright, although sometimes more limited and of shorter duration.
The beneficiaries of related rights are:
- Performers (such as actors and musicians) in their performances;
- Producers of phonograms (for example, compact discs) in their sound recordings; and
- Broadcasting organizations in their radio and television programs.
Works covered by copyright include, but are not limited to:
novels, poems, plays, reference works, newspapers, advertisements, computer programs, databases, films, musical compositions, choreography, paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, architecture, maps and technical drawings.
The print on paper format means that content is affixed onto paper and the content can’t be easily or conveniently manipulated by the user. Duplication of printed works is time-consuming and generally produces a copy that is of lower quality. Developments in technology have created new formats, in addition to paper, and new means of distribution. Particularly digital formats distributed over computer networks have separated the content from its means of delivery. Users of content are now able to exercise many of the exclusive rights granted to copyright owners, such as reproduction, distribution and adaptation.
Copyright law is typically designed to protect the fixed expression or manifestation of an idea rather than the fundamental idea itself. Copyright does not protect ideas, but only their expression is protected.