Copyright provides the creator of an original work, such as a piece of music or a song, with exclusive rights to it. The rights obtained through copyright are typically limited for a specified period as stipulated by the relevant jurisdictions intellectual property authority. To successfully attain copyright over a particular ‘work’, it is advisable to enlist the professional guidance of a consultancy firm or an intellectual property attorney.
Benefits of copyright protection explained
Copyright is a legal concept, which falls under the subject area of intellectual property, and is available in most jurisdictions globally. Fortunately for owners of creations, most copyright law is favoured towards the holder, and not the general public. Becoming a copyright holder is important for a number of reasons, but primarily, owning a copyright enables the person to be fairly credited for their work.
There are many reasons for an owner of a creation to obtain copyright over it, some of which are included below:
Right to copy
As a copyright holder, you effectively have the right to determine exactly how the work can be adapted, used and ultimately, who can financially benefit from it.
Protection from third party use
Once your work has obtained a copyright, you can successfully prevent third parties from using your work without your expressed permission. Where copyright infringement does occur, you will have the right to take legal action.
Right to seek damages
Owners of a registered copyright can file a claim for damages to a court of law. Where the infringing party has caused financial or irreparable harm to a registered copyright, the owner can seek the appropriate legal remedy. The burden of proof is on the infringing party, not on the copyright holder.
Right to sell or lease your copyright
All copyright holders can sell or lease their copyright to selected third parties whilst retaining the moral rights and legal ownership over the original work.
For a copyright to be used, leased or sold to a third party, the owner must receive financial gain in terms of remuneration for the rights to use the work. Financial profit can also be obtained through royalties.
Holders of a copyright ultimately retain control over their work, whether it is literary or artistic material, and have the right to prevent it from being misused by competitors, the public, and other third parties.
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