Copyright and Trademark Law in Public Relations
According to the Copyright Act, there are certain groupings of art-related products that are subject to copyrighting. By providing a detailed description of goods that fall under these categories, the policy offers special privileges to the original innovators. This document, which took effect in 1976, defines the limit of commodities considered as appropriate in the different categories of copyrightable works of art (Copyright Act of 1976, 2000). Through the characterizations documented at the beginning of this law, the general populace is able to take stringent measures on anyone who violates the rights offered by the act.
Some of the pieces that are subject to copyrighting include architectural works. This entails the structural designs of buildings including all forms of photographs, paintings, and statuettes. Sound recordings and other musical works are also part of the copyright protection categories. These verbal recordings may also include dramatized works that air in television or radio stations. Other than the verbal works of art categorized under these privileges, owners of written scripts also benefit from this form of protection. The legal guidelines also recognize documentation of choreographed dance styles.
There are various copyright ownership privileges described in section 102 of the Copyright Act of 1976. These rights benefit creators of various artistic works ranging from music, drama, literature, and paintings (Copyright Act of 1976, 2000). The provisions in this legal document seek to ensure that inventors benefit from their products as well as discourage malicious individuals from selling such products without permission from the proprietors. Furthermore, this official set of guidelines recognizes individual and group work in order to promote creativity and financial stability among the general population.
Products in all the eight categories of copyrightable works are subject to equal privileges. For instance, the designers of these products have the right to display their commodities in public places with the aim of marketing them. Additionally, he or she can replicate the original work of art or design another form of the piece. For instance, the owner of a novel can modify the content into a movie for purposes of promoting his or her creation (Stim, 2000). Nonetheless, these rights should not infringe on the privileges of another architect. These rights seek to appreciate the efforts of all individuals who use their imaginative skills to earn a modest living.
As a way of promoting the aspect of copyright protection, the Copyright Act defines strict penalties for individuals who violate these rules. One such penalty entails temporary or final injunctions. Under this form of punishment, a judge may order the wrongdoer to stop all activities related to the lawsuit prior to or after the verdict. Apprehension and destruction of the plagiarized copies are also relevant disciplinary actions according to the Copyright Act (Library of Congress, 2000). These measures seek to discourage the continuation of infringement activities by the accused party or other accomplices.
Additionally, the law provides guidelines for compensation. Depending on the judgment offered by a judge, the convict may have to reimburse $30,000 for committing a breach (Library of Congress, 2000). Other costs involved in such court cases include payment of all legal fees. The guilty party has to pay all court costs and the public prosecutor’s charges if the issuance of the copyright certificate occurred three months prior to the crime. Moreover, in certain cases, the violator faces criminal penalties. This disciplinary action relates to the provisions in the No Electronic Theft (NET) Act. Under this policy, individuals who illegally reproduce and distribute software may face a jail term of five years or a fine of $ 250,000 (Library of Congress, 2000).
Copyright Act of 1976. (2000). Champaign, Ill: Project Gutenberg.
Library of Congress. (2000). Duration of copyright: Provisions of the law dealing with the length of copyright protection. Washington, D.C.] (101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington 20559-6000: Library of Congress, Copyright Office.
Stim, R. (2000). Copyright law. Albany, N.Y: West Legal Studies.