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International Copyright Law
Surprise! There Is No International Copyright Law
Many people are surprised to learn that there is no international copyright law. Yes, that is right. There is not an international copyright law that will protect your work on the other side of the world. However, it is important to note that most countries do offer some form of protection to what is deemed as ?foreign? works.
International conventions and treaties have done much to protect owners of copyrights around the world. With the world seemingly becoming smaller every day the United States took a look at its stance on the European copyright treaty known as the Berne Convention. Basically, the Berne Convention of 1886 involved European nations coming together to seek a uniform copyright law to keep their copyright owners from having to register for copyrights in individuals European countries. The United States signed on to the Berne Convention introduced made it into a U.S. law known as the Berne Implementation Act of 1988.
If you are seeking to have your work protected in a particular country you need to find out what kind of protection foreign authors have in that country. Some countries offer little or not protection to foreign authors. It should be noted that the U.S. Copyright Office is not allowed to give authors recommendations or the names of attorneys or agents that could help them understand foreign copyright laws. However, with a little investigation it is not hard to find someone who is an expert on foreign copyright law. These individuals can help you learn more about copyright protection and how your work is deemed in a foreign country.
Someone who works in international copyright law will tell you that it is different than most other sectors of law. It involves knowing the copyright law of two or more countries. Every country has their own way of granting and protecting someone?s copyright. The individual criteria of each country must be taken into consideration when you are dealing with international copyright law. It is important to note that some countries do not have any intellectual property rights and some countries even grant more copyright protections than even the United States. International copyright laws involve understanding international treaties and conventions, like the Berne Treaty and WIPO Copyright Treaty listed above. If you are interested in pursuing a degree in law, you may want to explore the international copyright law sector. With the world becoming one big neighborhood, you will probably not lack for work.
People that have copyrighted works need to be aware that there are differences in the copyright laws in some nations. While it is true that the United States has signed treaties with some nations, your work will not be protected in every country of the world. As stated, the United States is a member of the Berne treaty. In addition, the United States is a member of the WIPO Copyright Treaty. This treaty works in conjunction with the Berne treaty yet it also covers and gives protection to databases and computer programs. If you would like more information on international copyright law you should check with an attorney who specializes in international copyright law.
Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Who are in Copyright Infringement Lawsuits? A copyright infringement lawsuit can be brought down for any number of reasons: someone using a song in a podcast or radio program, a writer ?borrowing? information from another work, the copying of video or mp3 off the internet without permission (or sometimes, even to another CD or DVD). Copyright infringement lawsuits are not generally brought to the average person, unless they?re downloading a LOT of music or movies, but usually for large operations: software pirates reselling goods on eBay or to some other unsuspecting victim, someone ?sampling? a song to make another, or maybe a person reselling mp3s online. When you understand the implications of it, copyright infringement lawsuits aren?t frivolous as some people may make it seem. For the most part, the average person?s familiarity with a copyright infringement lawsuit is taking down copyrighted material after receiving a nasty email. The use of works that are used in major record albums my major recording stars like Britney Spears or 50 Cent, people will begin copyright infringement lawsuits for songs that bear resemblance to another song. Usually these suits will be lost because it?s rather hard to prove inspiration, but they are rather costly and draining, especially if there isn?t a large backing legal team. Copyright infringement lawsuits for large enterprises can be rather costly and time consuming as well. If you work for someone, and you plagiarize someone on the company blog, the whole company can be sued, and you fired, for that infraction. Another large copyright infringement lawsuit is the eminent MySpace v. Universal Music Group, who is claiming that MySpace is knowingly committing copyright infringement by allowing it?s users to upload copyrighted material. Even then, Universal Music Group has been negotiating with MySpace and couldn?t come to an agreement ? then they filed suit. Universal Music Group has an agreement in place with YouTube, where YouTube agrees to follow Universal?s rules. It?s worked out well thus far, and I think with an agreement in place ?user created content? will retain a destination on the internet. This is a testament we all need to be with social networking sites and ?user created content.? We need to watch ourselves, because many times we may not realize the veracity of our actions. Sometimes, people break copyright laws on purpose. There is a huge market in the dealings of pirated software ? from Windows to Photoshop to The Sims. It?s very easy to share peer-to-peer, and because of that, people can resell ?pirated? for a high price ? all profit. Or they?ll download MP3 and resell them; or eBooks. These people who resell these items get nasty penalties ? with both copyright infringement lawsuits and criminal cases. They?ll pay a hefty fine and go to jail. As you can see, copyright infringement lawsuits can affect any one of us ? from our friends on MySpace to our employer, to the computer geek down the street. It?s very easy to violate copy rights, and you have to watch yourself. The chances are good that you won?t be involved in a major copyright infringement lawsuit, but you still need to ensure you?re following the copyright rules of engagement. Copyright infringement lawsuits are important in determining what is, and isn?t, applicable to copyright laws. Because of these lawsuits, our laws have changed regarding fair use, internet use, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation and CreativeCommons.com has been formed. The lawsuits help us to understand what is, and what isn?t fair ? and these organizations have helped the masses to understand what?s so important about copyright, and why we need to defend our freedom of speech.
People caught of copyright infringement Why Are People Caught of Copyright Infringement? When you hear of people caught of copyright infringement, many different things can happen to them. First of all, copyright infringement is both a civil and criminal crime, so people caught of copyright infringement are likely to get both sued and tried in criminal court. Because of the nature of copyright laws, if and when people are caught of copyright infringement, it?s likely that they will get repercussions from far and wide. First of all, people are always looking for people violating copyright laws. Copyright owners and/or agents surf the internet, so they may find the violations themselves. Usually, is someone finds that people are violating their copyright rights, they?ll notify the person or entities involved and ask that they take the content down, if it?s available on the Internet. They do this by either asking the person directly to take it down, or demanding of the website server to take it down (which they will, immediately, and probably suspend the account) If the person or entity hosting the violation doesn?t take it down, more serious actions will be taken, such as a lawsuit or criminal charge. People caught for copyright infringement do not automatically go to jail, although some entities like major television, music, and movie publishers and distribution channels may lead you to believe otherwise. For the example of YouTube.com, there are many people caught for copyright infringement, but they only need to take down the material. In many cases, YouTube.com will take the material down before the poster (the person who put the copyrighted information on the site to begin with) has a chance to see the warning. Other times, a work will be present on a peer to peer file sharing service, such as Kazaa or Napster, and the host of said service will blame the end user (you!). So, even if you found a file on a file sharing service, such as Kazaa, doesn?t mean the copyright is open for you to take it. Many people caught of copyright infringement have been found through these peer to peer networks, and it has been found time and again that the user that downloads the material gets charged and not the file sharing service. Be careful, if you are ever to use a peer to peer service such as Kazaa (or bit torrent, which is the code/program for another type of peer to peer file distribution tool) that you?re only downloading, and sharing, items that aren?t copyrighted works ? or you could be punished severely. Sometimes, people are caught of file sharing from their IP addresses ? because they download something from a secure site, their servers can track your IP address (your unique location on the internet, four sets of numbers, separated by periods, with at most three numbers in each set ? i.e. 188.8.131.52 which is the IP address of Google.com). So even if you think you?ve bypassed the copyright law, you can still be found years later by tracing that IP address. There are many ways to find people caught of copyright infringement, you can search through Google.com or look through newspaper databases. One thing, however, remains the same in all these cases ? the people are downloading, sharing, or in some other way using copyrighted materials. The only problem is, especially in the internet age, is that even if you?re using something anonymously, you can still be tracked ? and prosecuted ? for the infringement. Be careful, in all you download or use, have the rights to use the item ? sometimes it?s as simple as asking permission that will keep you from getting sued or sent to jail.