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Limitations and exceptions to copyright

copyright exceptionslimitation and exceptionexceptions
A copyright is subject to limitations based on public interest considerations, such as the fair use doctrine in the United States.
Limitations and exceptions to copyright are provisions, in local copyright law or Berne Convention, which allow for copyrighted works to be used without a license from the copyright owner.

Derivative work

derivative worksderivativederivatives
These rights frequently include reproduction, control over derivative works, distribution, public performance, and moral rights such as attribution.
In copyright law, a derivative work is an expressive creation that includes major copyrightable elements of an original, previously created first work (the underlying work).

List of countries' copyright lengths

List of countries' copyright lengthvary globallyterm of copyright
Typically, the public law duration of a copyright expires 50 to 100 years after the creator dies, depending on the jurisdiction.
Copyright is the right to copy and publish a particular work.

Copyright term

copyright termstermsduration
Typically, the public law duration of a copyright expires 50 to 100 years after the creator dies, depending on the jurisdiction.
Copyright term is the length of time copyright subsists in a work before it passes into the public domain.

Performing rights

performance rightsperformance rightperforming right
These rights frequently include reproduction, control over derivative works, distribution, public performance, and moral rights such as attribution.
It is part of copyright law and demands payment to the music's composer/lyricist and publisher (with the royalties generally split 50/50 between the two).

Fair use

fair use doctrinefair-usefair
A copyright is subject to limitations based on public interest considerations, such as the fair use doctrine in the United States.
The U.S. Supreme Court has traditionally characterized fair use as an affirmative defense, but in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. (2015) (the "dancing baby" case), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that fair use was not merely a defense to an infringement claim, but was an expressly authorized right, and an exception to the exclusive rights granted to the author of a creative work by copyright law: "Fair use is therefore distinct from affirmative defenses where a use infringes a copyright, but there is no liability due to a valid excuse, e.g., misuse of a copyright."

Copyright formalities

formalitiesstatutory formalitiescopyright formality
Some countries require certain copyright formalities to establishing copyright, others recognize copyright in any completed work, without formal registration.
Copyright formalities are legal (generally statutory) requirements needed to obtain a copyright in a particular jurisdiction.

Statute of Anne

Copyright Act 1709Copyright ActBattle of the Booksellers
Often seen as the first real copyright law, the 1709 British Statute of Anne gave the publishers rights for a fixed period, after which the copyright expired.
c. 19), is an act of the Parliament of Great Britain passed in 1710, which was the first statute to provide for copyright regulated by the government and courts, rather than by private parties.

Exclusive right

franchiseexclusive rightsexclusive
Copyright is the exclusive right given to the creator of a creative work to reproduce the work, usually for a limited time.
Exclusive rights may be granted in property law, copyright law, patent law, in relation to public utilities, or, in some jurisdictions, in other sui generis legislation.

Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

Copyright Designs and Patents Act 19881988 Copyright ActBritish law
The UK signed the Berne Convention in 1887 but did not implement large parts of it until 100 years later with the passage of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
It reformulates almost completely the statutory basis of copyright law (including performing rights) in the United Kingdom, which had, until then, been governed by the Copyright Act 1956 (c.

Buenos Aires Convention

Buenos AiresBuenos Aires copyright treaty
The United States and most Latin American countries instead entered into the Buenos Aires Convention in 1910, which required a copyright notice on the work (such as all rights reserved), and permitted signatory nations to limit the duration of copyrights to shorter and renewable terms.
The Buenos Aires Convention (Third Pan-American Convention) is a copyright treaty signed at Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 11 August 1910, providing mutual recognition of copyrights where the work carries a notice containing a statement of reservation of rights (Art.

Copyright law of Germany

German copyright lawGerman copyrightauthor's right
Copyright law was enacted rather late in German states, and the historian Eckhard Höffner argues that the absence of copyright laws in the early 19th century encouraged publishing, was profitable for authors, led to a proliferation of books, enhanced knowledge, and was ultimately an important factor in the ascendency of Germany as a power during that century.
While the barrier is usually very low for fine art and protection is granted even for minimal creativity (dubbed "kleine Münze", literally "small coin" or "small change"), there are extremely high standards for applied art to be reached for it to achieve copyright protection.

Public domain

public domain resourcepublic-domainPD
If the author wished, they could apply for a second 14‑year monopoly grant, but after that the work entered the public domain, so it could be used and built upon by others.
The French poet Alfred de Vigny equated the expiration of copyright with a work falling "into the sink hole of public domain" and if the public domain receives any attention from intellectual property lawyers it is still treated as little more than that which is left when intellectual property rights, such as copyright, patents, and trademarks, expire or are abandoned.

Universal Copyright Convention

UCCUniversal Copyright Convention 1952Universal Copyright Convention of 1951
The Universal Copyright Convention was drafted in 1952 as another less demanding alternative to the Berne Convention, and ratified by nations such as the Soviet Union and developing nations.
The Universal Copyright Convention (UCC), adopted in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1952, is one of the two principal international conventions protecting copyright; the other is the Berne Convention.

Work for hire

work-for-hirework made for hireworks for hire
The original holder of the copyright may be the employer of the author rather than the author himself if the work is a "work for hire".
In the copyright law of the United States, a work made for hire (work for hire or WFH) is a work subject to copyright that is created by an employee as part of his or her job, or some limited types of works for which all parties agree in writing to the WFH designation.

WIPO Copyright Treaty

World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright TreatyCopyright TreatyWIPO Treaty
In 1996, this organization was succeeded by the founding of the World Intellectual Property Organization, which launched the 1996 WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty and the 2002 WIPO Copyright Treaty, which enacted greater restrictions on the use of technology to copy works in the nations that ratified it.
The World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty (WIPO Copyright Treaty or WCT) is an international treaty on copyright law adopted by the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 1996.

Copyright protection for fictional characters

fictional characters
Specifics vary by jurisdiction, but these can include poems, theses, fictional characters plays and other literary works, motion pictures, choreography, musical compositions, sound recordings, paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, computer software, radio and television broadcasts, and industrial designs.
Copyright protection is available to the creators of a range of works including literary, musical, dramatic and artistic works.


Typically, the first owner of a copyright is the person who created the work i.e. the author.
In the copyright laws of various jurisdictions, there is a necessity for little flexibility regarding what constitutes authorship.

Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers

Stationers' CompanyStationers CompanyStationers' Hall
In reaction to the printing of "scandalous books and pamphlets", the English Parliament passed the Licensing of the Press Act 1662, which required all intended publications to be registered with the government-approved Stationers' Company, giving the Stationers the right to regulate what material could be printed.
This is the origin of the term "copyright".

Threshold of originality

originala level of creativitydegree of originality
Typically, a work must meet minimal standards of originality in order to qualify for copyright, and the copyright expires after a set period of time (some jurisdictions may allow this to be extended).
The threshold of originality is a concept in copyright law that is used to assess whether a particular work can be copyrighted.

Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations

RomeRome ConventionRome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting OrganizationsRome Rome Convention
In 1961, the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property signed the [[Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations]].
The agreement extended copyright protection for the first time from the author of a work to the creators and owners of particular, physical manifestations of intellectual property, such as audiocassettes or videocassettes.

Berne Convention

Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic WorksBerne Convention of 1886Bern Convention
The 1886 Berne Convention first established recognition of copyrights among sovereign nations, rather than merely bilaterally.
The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as the Berne Convention, is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland, in 1886.

Copyright symbol

©copyright sign(c)
Before 1989, United States law required the use of a copyright notice, consisting of the copyright symbol (©, the letter C inside a circle), the abbreviation "Copr.", or the word "Copyright", followed by the year of the first publication of the work and the name of the copyright holder.
The copyright symbol, or copyright sign, © (a circled capital letter C for copyright), is the symbol used in copyright notices for works other than sound recordings.

Copyright registration

registrationregistered copyrightregistered
While central registries are kept in some countries which aid in proving claims of ownership, registering does not necessarily prove ownership, nor does the fact of copying (even without permission) necessarily prove that copyright was infringed.
The purpose of copyright registration is to place on record a verifiable account of the date and content of the work in question, so that in the event of a legal claim, or case of infringement or plagiarism, the copyright owner can produce a copy of the work from an official government source.

Copyright law of the United States

United States copyright lawU.S. copyright lawcopyright
Recently, as a part of the debates being held at the U.S. Copyright Office on the question of inclusion of Moral Rights as a part of the framework of the Copyright Law in United States, the Copyright Office concluded that many diverse aspects of the current moral rights patchwork—including copyright law's derivative work right, state moral rights statutes, and contract law—are generally working well and should not be changed.
United States copyright law was last generally revised by the Copyright Act of 1976, codified in Title 17 of the United States Code.