Simply put, and in the context of publishing, copyright is the positive right of an author or publisher to exploit his or her creation in certain ways and, at the same time, the negative right to prevent others from doing so.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, copyright is defined as “the exclusive right to publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic or musical material.” (Oxford English Dictionary, 11th edition, 2013, Oxford University Press, page 194.)
Copyright therefore protects a physical representation of an idea. The idea itself does not have to be original but the representation must be original. Copyright protection is given to the authors of original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection applies to both published and unpublished works.
The owner of copyright has the exclusive right to do and to authorise others to do the following:
- Reproduce the work in copies or sound recordings.
- Make derivative works based upon the original.
- Distribute copies or sound recordings of the original to the public by sales, rentals, leasing, lending or licensing.
- Perform the original publicly, and that would include the use of digital audio.
- Display the original publicly.
Understanding Copyright is the first step in knowing how to protect yourself and your work. We will be sharing more interesting reading about Copyright over the next few months. Click on this link to read more: https://www.oxford.co.za/page/higher-education/interesting-reading/1641252-Copyright-Information-Guide