Literature Review on Copyrights

Introduction

A copyright is a form of intangible property that an organisation uses to gain exclusive control over the production and sale of a literary or artistic work. Infringement of a copyright can lead to a case in court and payment of damages for using someone’s copyright. There are several ideas about copyrights and copyright laws that can be explored through literature. Various literatures exist which provide information about copyrights and various aspects that entail copyrights, including infringement and use of copyrights in the marketplace. This paper will review ten articles that talk about copyrights. The purpose of this literature review is to find the different ideas of various authors about the concept of intellectual property rights. Different authors have different perspectives and understanding of the same concept; hence it is important to review various literatures to identify their differences in terms of conceptualization, inferences, and conclusions. This review explains the purpose of each article, the argument of the author, its relevance, and its connection with other articles reviewed in the article review. In essence, the article review draws different concepts of copyrights and copyright law from different authors.

Review of Journal Articles

  1. Cole, J.H. (2001). Patents and Copyrights: Do the Benefits Exceed the Costs? Journal of Libertarian Studies, 15(4), 75-105.

This article covers intellectual property rights, specifically on patents and copyrights. In terms of copyrights, the article aims at finding the benefits and costs of using copyrights. It uses several references to support its arguments, inferences and conclusions. For instance, the author quotes Murray Robert who suggested that copyrights and patents are different forms of legal protection, but made a strong case for copyrights and against patents. However, Cole (2001) suggests that intellectual property rights are “all or nothing”, meaning that the use of one form of intellectual property right requires the use of another. He argues that a copyright prohibits people from using the labour expended in coming up with a literature or art, but does not include the use of an idea or fact. Cole (2001) suggests that under natural law one enjoys the product of his own labour, and not the product of another person’s labour.

In conclusion, the article says that it is important to discuss the merits of copyrights in order to protect their use, and patents are not necessary because it protects ideas which according to the author can be shared by different people, as long as they do not copy each other’s products.  In my own view, copyrights are essential properties used to protect the products that have already been protected by a patent. Therefore, the two can work together to ensure that what was not fully protected by patents can be protected by copyrights. The author opposes this and argues that patents are not necessary.

This article can be linked to the next article which provides an explanation of a court case that deals with copyrights, because the article gives a good background about the benefit of copyrights that need to be observed as opposed to patents. From the understanding of a copyright in relation to other forms of intellectual property rights, it is possible to proceed to the key aspects of copyrights including the jurisdictions of a copyright law as provided in the next article.

  1. Musical Times Publications Ltd. (1851). Copyright. The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular, 4(85), 191-192.

This article talks exclusively about the decision made by Lord Campbell and eight other judges concerning copyrights. The English judges ruled that copyrights can be enjoyed in England by foreigners and aliens. In this case, the author considers the case to be good honesty because it recognises the right of an author and artist to use the products of his own brain. The author recognizes the legal protection this intellectual property as good law. The author also argues that each copyright is intended to protect the interests of learning because it induces authors to print their books without fear of copying by other authors. The relevance and quality of this article is boosted by the author’s use of a court case as a platform to explain the importance of copyright.

The author quotes various exempts from the case and cites them appropriately in order to advance its ideas. In my view, this article is relevant and acceptable because it allows readers to understand the importance of copyrights even from a court’s perspective, so that users of copyrights can know how their use of copyrights are handled in courts. The use of a court case and inclusion of several other references is a good way of backing the ideas put forward in the article. The information therein is therefore reliable. The article is linked to the previous article which introduces copyrights and heir benefits, and also the next article which deals with infringement of copyrights. Using a court case, the article forms an important platform for the next article to explain how copyrights are infringed, and how such an infringement can be handled.

  1. Lichtman, D. and Landes, W. (2003). Indirect Liability for Copyright Infringement: An Economic Perspective. Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, 16(2), 395-410.

This article talks about indirect liability that may arise from the infringement of copyrights. The article quotes the Copyright Act 1976 to explain the indirect liability that may arise from copyright infringement. Various sources of information are cited and included in footnotes to back up the arguments of the author. The article suggests that indirect liability arises when courts hold third parties responsible for the infringement of copyrights. In this case, copyright infringement by third parties includes contributory infringement and vicarious liability. Vicarious liability occurs when the third party (an employer) has control over the other party and enjoys benefits from the infringement of copyrights by the other party. On the other hand, contributory infringement occurs when a third party induces an infringement knowingly on behalf of another person. The article concludes that these indirect infringements cause increased costs in the flea market; hence the law (both statutory and common law) on copyrights balances these tensions. In my view, the copyright laws play a crucial role in implementing copyright protection because indirect liability prevents an author from enjoying exclusive rights of his own original work. This article supports this by suggesting that such a liability imposes costs in the flea market. This article links to other articles reviewed because it connects the aspects of third party infringement with their legal consequences.

  1. Anfray, C., Emery, M., Conway, K. and Acquadro, C. (2012). Questions of Copyright. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 10(16), 1-2.

This is a short article which articulates key questions of a copyright to enhance a good understanding of this form of intellectual property right. The author defines a copyright as a mechanism of protecting an instrument’s integrity; the exclusive legal right granted to an originator to print, publish, film or perform a piece of literature or art. The article suggests that the ownership of an instrument needs to be defined from the beginning in order to enhance effective implementation of property rights protection. According to the author of this article, the copyright holder of an instrument controls the access of the instrument in terms of distribution and reproduction. All parties involved in the use, distribution and reproduction of an instrument need to define and understand the ownership of the instrument from the beginning. This article refers to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works which helped to articulate the exercise of copyrights. This article also uses various references to explain the questions of copyrights. The questions of copyrights include how a copyright should be enhanced, what needs to be articulated in the ownership of an instrument, and who distributes and re-distributes a copyrighted instrument. The article also provides recommendations for users and authors based on the Berne Convention resolutions.

  1. Samuelson, P. (2010). The Copyright Principles Project: Directions for Reform. Berkeley Technology Law Journal, 25, 1-68.

This article explains various aspects of copyright law including its guiding principles, its consistency with guiding principles and copyright reform proposals. Under the guiding principles of copyright law, this article provides seven key guiding principles. One of the principles is that the copyright law should support the creation, distribution and enjoyment of authorship work in order to enhance growth and exchange of culture and knowledge. This and six other principles were explained fully in the article.

The article has also suggested that the US copyright law complies with these guiding principles of copyright laws. Furthermore, the article provides twenty five recommendations for copyright reform. In conclusion, the article suggests that copyright law today protects the interests of authors, the public, and other people authorized by the authors to use the property rights. The given recommendations serve to enhance the adaptation of copyright laws to meet various challenges in a principled and balanced manner. In my view, the copyright law needs to ensure that the copyrights of authors are protected. This is supported by the article because it suggests that the copyright laws need to comply with the general principles of copyrights.

This article also links with other articles reviewed in this literature review because it talks about copyright a law which guides various aspects of copyrights discussed by various other authors. In the next article, the issue of promoting creativity for authors is highlighted. This links with the current article because they both articulate the importance of copyrights in protecting the interests of authors and artists.

  1. Ku, R.S., Sun, J. and Fan, Y. Does Copyright Law Promote Creativity? An Empirical Analysis of Copyright’s Bounty. Vanderbilt Law Review, 62(6), 1669-1746.

This article uses a statistical approach to determine whether the changes in copyright law in have created an impact on the number of new works created by authors and artists. In terms of benefits of the copyright law, the article suggests that copyright law provides authors with exclusive rights with their work. This enables them to get a good financial reward for their works by marketing them. This article argues that greater protection of copyrights leads to greater rewards.

The article also has a large text which reviews US copyright law and its growth, a statistical analysis of copyright law enactments, and hypotheses testing which makes the study appropriate and objectively relevant and reliable. The analysis shows an increase in the number of book registrations over time, relationship between population, GDP and registration of books, as well as the relationship between legal changes and number of new works of performing arts. These statistical results show the relationship between the changes in Copyright laws and the number of copyrighted materials; hence the amount of benefits from artistic and literary materials.

This article links well with other articles reviewed in this literature review because it provides an objective study of the relevance of copyright law in protecting copyrights, which is the key issue for most authors reviewed. I think this is one of the most important studies on copyright law which can be used to determine whether copyright law has enabled authors to enjoy the benefits of their copyrights.

  1. Gervais, D.J. (2005). The Purpose of Copyright Law in Canada. University of Ottawa Law and Technology Journal, 2(2), 315-356.

This article explains the economic purpose of copyright law in Canada, which in my view applies to other democratic countries like Australia, UK and USA. The main argument of the author is that copyright law ensures that there is an orderly production and distribution of artistic and intellectual works. This article has used an approach of reviewing three court cases on copyright laws to articulate its main argument. These court cases are referred to by the article as the trilogy and include: The berge, CCH, and SOCAN V. CAIP. Theberge was aimed at balancing the promotion of public interests and the providing a just reward for the artist. CCH addressed the issue of originality and the scope of fair dealing in the copyright law. The case ruled for the concept of originality which combines the skill, effort and labour of the artist or author. According to this article, labour and effort should not in any way be treated as mechanical or trivial.

In SOCAN V. CAIP, the court ruled on the issue of liability of internet service providers in relation to their transmission of copyrighted work through the internet. The court of appeal ruled that Internet service providers are not liable because they do not control content. This article is a relevant text in this review, and relates well with other articles reviewed because it talks about the importance of copyright laws in enhancing exclusive right to ownership of artistic and intellectual property.

The paper also suggests two ways in which copyright law can be aligned with its purpose: making existing rights easy to manage, and recasting the rights on the basis of its effect on the use of the work that results from the enjoyment of copyrights. This connects with the next article which talks about the expiration of copyright protection. I think that copyright laws should be able to protect users of copyrights in order to get economic value of their works. This is supported by the article.

  1. Crews, K.D. (2001). The Expiration of Copyright Protection: Survey and Analysis of U.S. Copyright Law for Identifying the Public Domain. White Paper, National Science Foundation.

This article is a white paper that explains an issue that is linked and unique with the other articles reviewed in this paper. It talks about the expiration of a copyright protection. While the other authors talk of copyright laws and how copyright laws enhance protection of copyrights for the benefit of users, this article talks about how the expiry of such an intellectual property right should be handled. The article suggests that in order to identify works, it is important to determine some facts, including year and place of publication, copyright notice if any, and renewal of the work, if any. This article highlights several rules that apply to the expiration of copyrights. These include rules on: works developed after 1978, works for hire, works developed and published from 1923 to 1977, etc. These rules explain how expiration of copyrights is treated in the different categories listed. Crews (2001) use numerous references to put across his message clearly with substantial proof of research. Therefore, this research has a high level of reliability in understanding copyright issues. It connects with other articles in the nature of its approach, and adds to the knowledge already developed from the other articles concerning copyrights. In my view, all aspects of artistic and literary works should be articulated in the copyrights, including the expiry date, year of publication and users of the works. This will ensure that the users of the works and the authors and artists are in agreement on the period within which the authors and artists can enjoy the copyrights. Within this period, any direct or indirect infringement will be punishable by law as suggested by Lichtman and Landes (2003) and other authors reviewed in this literature review.

  1. Wang, Z. (2009). Current Status of Copyright Awareness of China’s Publishing Corporations. Publishing Research Quarterly, 25(4), 208-218.

In this article, the author describes the general idea of copyright as understood in China’s publishing corporations. Awareness of copyrights by China’s publishing corporations has been explained through the description of the current status of copyright management departments in Chinese Publishing Corporations. The article has also examined the current status of websites and copyright-related information and anti-privacy programs among various publishing corporations in china. The article also uses a strong analysis and conclusion to come up with the current status of copyright awareness of China’s publishing corporations. This was achieved through an investigation of 163 publishing corporations in China. These publishing corporations were interviewed and their websites were reviewed to identify their levels of awareness. The research shows a high level of copyright awareness among the selected publishing corporations of China. This is an important article that connects with the other articles reviewed by identifying the level of awareness of copyrights in China. This awareness enhances a good application and use of copyrights to enhance economic benefits for authors as suggested by other articles reviewed in this literature review paper. In my view, the results of this article are correct because I think that the level of copyright awareness in Chinese Publishing Corporations is high.

  1. Schovsbo, J. (2008). Integrating Consumer Rights into Copyright Law: From a European Perspective. Journal of Consumer Policy, 31(4), 393-408.

This article focuses on the role of copyright law on the achievement of consumer interests, using several references. The article suggests that consumers raise concern over copyright expansion and reduced value of internal balancing mechanisms. This article also recommends that consumer interests should be integrated in copyright law by rebalancing copyright to identify users’ interests and changing limitations of copyright to enhance easy access and reuse of previous works. This is a unique perspective when compared to other articles because it develops a perspective of the consumer, and connects with other articles by articulating the rules of copyright law in general. Most of the other articles talk about copyrights from the perspective of the author and artist protection, but this article focuses on the protection of consumer interests. This is an important aspect of this review because it connects author protection with the protection of consume r interests so that both parties enjoy the original product of the author. In my view, this is a relevant approach because it covers the consumers’ view, which has been neglected by most authors. While the copyright laws protect the author, the interests of consumers also need to be protected so that the consumption of artistic works becomes relevant.

Conclusion

The articles reviewed deal with the concept of copyrights as one of the intellectual property rights. The first article explains the meaning, costs and benefits of intellectual property rights, and the second one follows with a court decision made by judges concerning copyrights, which indicates that copyrights are applied across the world. This shows the relevance of copyright laws in courts. The third article then explains about the indirect liability that may result from the infringement of property rights. These three articles therefore set a base for the understanding of copyrights and their legal relevance in business. The article review shows that there is a high awareness of copyrights, and the use of copyrights enhances economic benefits. Copyright law allows for easy creation and distribution of artistic and literary works. However, the copyright laws should be in line with the principles of copyrights.

 

References

Anfray, C., Emery, M., Conway, K. and Acquadro, C. (2012). Questions of Copyright. Health      and Quality of Life Outcomes, 10(16), 1-2.

Cole, J.H. (2001). Patents and Copyrights: Do the Benefits Exceed the Costs? Journal of Libertarian Studies, 15(4), 75-105.

Crews, K.D. (2001). The Expiration of Copyright Protection: Survey and Analysis of U.S. Copyright Law for Identifying the Public Domain. White Paper, National Science Foundation.

Gervais, D.J. (2005). The Purpose of Copyright Law in Canada. University of Ottawa Law and Technology Journal, 2(2), 315-356.

Lichtman, D. and Landes, W. (2003). Indirect Liability for Copyright Infringement: An Economic Perspective. Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, 16(2), 395-410.

Ku, R.S., Sun, J. and Fan, Y. Does Copyright Law Promote Creativity? An Empirical Analysis of Copyright’s Bounty. Vanderbilt Law Review, 62(6), 1669-1746.

Musical Times Publications Ltd. (1851). Copyright. The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular, 4(85), 191-192.

Samuelson, P. (2010). The Copyright Principles Project: Directions for Reform. Berkeley Technology Law Journal, 25, 1-68.

Wang, Z. (2009). Current Status of Copyright Awareness of China’s Publishing Corporations. Publishing Research Quarterly, 25(4), 208-218.

Schovsbo, J. (2008). Integrating Consumer Rights into Copyright Law: From a European Perspective. Journal of Consumer Policy, 31(4), 393-408.

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