According to Wanda K. Johnston and Derrie B. Roark ( 1996, p.74-75 ), ” copyright protection subsists in original works of auhorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression from which they can be perceived, reproduced or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of machine or device. Works of authorship includes following categories:
1. Literary works
2. Musical works including any accompanying words
3. Dramatic works including any accompanying music
4. Pantomimes and choreographic works
5. Pictorial, graphic and sculptural works
6. Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
7. Sound recordings and
8. Architectural works
Authors rights: an author has an exclusive rights to do and authorize any of the following:
1. To reproduce work in copies or phonorecords
2. To prepare derivative works based on copirighted work
5. To display literary, musical, dramatic and choreographic works, pantomimes and pictorial, graphic or scurptural works including the individual images of a motion pictures or other audiovisual work publicly
(…) The copyright law attemps to balance the protection of the rights of the author with the needs of society. (…)
However, there are situations when the above described law is broken. These situations happen more often than not according to Lorelle VanFossen who” is a keynote, trainer, writer, and consultant on web writing, web design, and blogging, especially working with WordPress” ( http://lorelle.wordpress.com/about/#who ), stealing one’s content on the internet it is, as VanFossen states it, not a matter of ” if ‘ but ‘ when “. In her blog Lorelle gives valuble instructions on how to act if our work was stolen and how to protect our content. “ The first step in learning about what you can do when someone steals your content is to know that it will happen, so the more prepared and informed you are, the better your chances of prevention and having a plan in place when they steal. ” ( http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2006/04/10/what-do-you-do-when-someone-steals-your-content/). It seams like a lot of effort and expences to recover our intelectual property, people often tend to presume that it is impossible or very hard to achive. When I thought about it I wouldn’t know where to start and how to catch the thief who stole my content and what is more important how to make this person give my property back. Here are some facts and myths presented by Lorelle: “
- Going after someone for theft and copyright violation is NOT time consuming or expensive.
- It does NOT require a lawyer.
- It might NOT require anything other than some simple actions.
- The protection of copyright laws should NOT be left to the “companies with the money”.
- Protecting and defending copyrights is NOT complicated.
- WRONG: The companies with money think nothing of violating copyrights, so there is nothing to do about it.
- WRONG: Everything on the Internet is/should be free.
- WRONG: You put it on the Internet, what do you expect? ” ( http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2006/04/10/what-do-you-do-when-someone-steals-your-content/ )
Lorelle also describes how to track the person who has stolen from us, she suggests that we should try to track the source of the theft which might be confusing because other people could take the stolen data further and it is complicated to find the primary source mostly because of that blogs and websites usually do not contain many personal information. Nevertheless, according to Lorelle, once we have any contact details for this person we should inform them about the situation requesting ” (…) removal, correction, modification, and/or compensation (…) “, ” Some people don’t even know they are stealing your content for a variety of reasons. Give them a chance to explain and change their ways, and to remove the content before you start threatening. Remain professional and this might be quickly solved.” ( http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2006/04/10/what-do-you-do-when-someone-steals-your-content/ ). I think that it some cases it really might work, I agree with Lorelle on the fact that some people do not realise that they are doing something wrong, some of them just presume that everything on the website is free or they are just hoping that they will be lucky and no one will notice. However, sometimes it might not be so easy and legal steps have to be undertaken. One of the famous cases of copyrigh infringement was ”Bright Tunes Music vs. Harrisongs Music (1976)
Arguably the most well-known of all copyright law cases, former Beatles guitarist George Harrison was sued by Bright Tunes Music after the recording company claimed his song “My Sweet Lord” plagiarized “He’s So Fine,” a song made popular first by The Chiffons.
After five years, the case was settled in 1976 when the court found Harrison guilty of copyright infringement. According to the judge, Harrison had unknowingly copied the song, and based his decision on nuances in the music’s notation. He said the use of very specific musical elements, note patterns and harmonies had caused the ex-Beatle to inadvertently steal the essence of “He’s So Fine.” ” ( http://heidi-lowry.suite101.com/famous-copyright-infringement-cases-in-the-music-industry-a243968 ). I think that no matter how difficult it would be we should protect our rights and intellectual property doing at least as much as we can, and maybe this situation will no longer be an issue.
Wanda K. Johnston and Derrie B. Roark, A copyright sampler ( United States of America: American Library Associacion, 1996 ), 74-75.