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What is Copyright ?

What is Copyright ?

Copyright is a right given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. In fact, it is a bundle of rights including, inter alia, rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of the work. There could be slight variations in the composition of the rights depending on the work.

Copyright ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity. Creativity being the keystone of progress, no civilized society can afford to ignore the basic requirement of encouraging the same. Economic and social development of a society is dependent on creativity. The protection provided by copyright to the efforts of writers, artists, designers, dramatists, musicians, architects and producers of sound recordings, cinematograph films and computer software, creates an atmosphere conducive to creativity, which induces them to create more and motivates others to create.

Copyright is a form of legal protection that grants authors exclusive rights to control how their original works of expression are used and distributed. Authors create original works when they produce something new and creative by their own skill and effort, without copying from others. The scope of original works is very broad, and covers artistic creations, such as paintings, music, literature, and films, as well as functional works, such as software, databases, and maps.

Copyright is based on two criteria: originality and fixation
Originality means that the work has some creative element that reflects the author’s personality and choices. It does not have to be novel or innovative, but it cannot be trivial or obvious. For example, titles, names, slogans, logos, common symbols, simple variations of fonts or colors, and lists of facts or ingredients are not original enough to be protected.
Fixation means that the work is recorded or stored in a physical or digital medium that can be perceived or reproduced. It does not have to be published or registered, but it cannot be ephemeral or transient. For example, a speech, a performance, or a painting are fixed when they are recorded on tape, video, or canvas, but not when they are only spoken, played, or drawn live.