Extension of Copyright
Originally, copyright protected only literary, musical,l dramatic and artistic works by authors. The Copyright Act 1963 introduced protection for certain similar neighbouring or entrepreneurial works. Various EU directives broadened these protections over time. This is reflected in the Copyright Act 2000 and regulations based on directives made before and since. These rights are based on commercial interests rather than artistic work.
The EU legislation is effectively part of the single market programme. The classic forms of copyright have not been harmonised on an EU-wide basis, although they are broadly similar, being based on an international convention.
The EU directives harmonised certain specific elements of some rights. Some of these are based on international conventions or convention amendments to which the EU and its member states have acceded. The EU’s more recent initiatives reflect the maturing digital market.
Copyright in sound recordings is separate from the copyright in the underlying work. There may be literary and musical copyright in the lyrics and music.
Sound recordings are any fixation of sounds, or of the representations thereof, from which the sounds are capable of being reproduced, regardless of the medium on which the recording is made or the method by which the sounds are reproduced.
Sound recordings are protected irrespective of whether the content qualifies for literary or artistic copyright. Sound recording includes sounds in any form. Copyright in the sound recording vests in the producer of the recording. Sound recordings are referred to as phonograms in the EU legislation.
Copyright in a sound recording ran from the making of the sound recording for 50 years. If it is not made public, the 50 years run from the date that it is made public within that 50-year period. The 50-year period was extended to 70 years by the 2011 directive commencing in 2013. This follows lobbying in view of the decline in record sales and the increase in peer-to-peer sharing over the Internet.
Under the directive, the performer has an inalienable right to receive an additional share of proceeds during the prolongation period. This is to be 20% of the revenue which the record producer derives in the previous year to which remuneration is paid in relation to the reproduction distribution and making available of the recording in question.
Collection and distribution are administered by collecting societies. The performer may terminate the arrangement if, during the extended period, the record producer fails to offer sufficient copies to the public or to make it available to the public online or through other means.
It is an infringement to make the sound recording available to the public without the consent of the rights holder. Equally, an adaptation is likely to constitute infringement.
Films enjoy separate stand-alone protection. Films may embody material that is also covered by literary, musical and dramatic copyright. However, some films may embody material that is not otherwise protected.
“film” means a fixation in any medium from which a moving image may, by any means, be produced, perceived or communicated through a device. It, therefore, covers media such as DVD and cassette as well as digital production and distribution.
The author, as the owner of the copyright, is defined as the producer and principal director of the film. The duration of the copyright is 70 years after the last of the following persons dies, namely:
- the principal director of the film;
- the author of the screenplay of the film;
- the author of the dialogue of the film;
- the author of music specifically composed for use in the film.
Where a film is first lawfully made available to the public during the period of 70 years following the death of the last of the persons specified, the copyright in that film shall expire 70 years after the date of such making available. Where the copyright in a film has expired, a person who, after such expiration, makes available to the public the film or causes the film to be so made available shall not infringe the copyright in any work included in the film.
The copyright in soundtracks lasts as long as the copyright in the film. It vests in the author and copyright holder in the film. The infringement takes place when the film is made available to the public. Formerly the piracy of DVDs and videos constituted the principal form of infringement. Infringement is now more likely to be digital.
The protection of broadcasts relates to the broadcast signal. It protects the interests of the broadcaster and entities lawfully retransmitting the same. As with other neighbouring/entrepreneurial rights, it is entirely distinct from the copyright in the content.
A ‘broadcast’ means an electronic transmission of sounds, images or data, or any combination or representation thereof, for direct public reception or for presentation to members of the public;
‘digital terrestrial retransmission’ means the reception and immediate retransmission on an encrypted basis without alteration by means of a multiplex of a broadcast or a cable programme initially transmitted from another Member State of the EEA;
The definition of ‘broadcast’ does not prejudice the exclusive right u of a person to make a work available by means of a broadcast of the work.
Broadcasts cover radio and television stations duly licensed. A broadcast covers reception by wireless means. Broadcast copyright assists for 50 years after the transmission.
Copyright belongs to the broadcaster or a person making intermediate retransmission. Infringement may occur by intercepting or making available the broadcast.
Cable programme services
Cable program services enjoy equivalent protection to that for broadcast transmissions of image sounds, data, et cetera. The protections for cable programs are the equivalent of those for broadcasts.
Cable program providers involve the transmission of images, sounds or data by cable means. Cable program services include MMDS. When originally enacted, cable programs referred principally to the forms of cable distribution common in the 1980s and 90s, including MMDS and other systems. By its terms, it also applies to broadcasting via the web.
|A cable programme” means any item included in a cable programme service;
“cable programme service” means a service, including MMDS including MMDS and digital terrestrial retransmission, which consists wholly or mainly of sending sounds, images or data or any combination of sounds, images or data, or the representations thereof, by means of a telecommunications system
- for reception at 2 or more places (whether for simultaneous reception or at different times in response to requests by different users), or
- for presentation to members of the public,
There is a range of exclusions for private cable systems not connected to other telecommunication services. These include CCTV systems, internal business intranets, internal communications and telecommunications systems, private security single broadcast within the building and other private networks. Interactive transmissions are not covered.
The author is the entity providing the cable programme service in which the program is included. The period of protection is 50 years after the broadcaster is first lawfully transmitted. This also applies to repeat broadcasts. Infringement will generally comprise the interception of the cable signals.
A typographical arrangement refers to the layout of a book or other publication. Copyright exists in typographical arrangements of published editions.“published edition”, in relation to the copyright in the typographical arrangement of a published edition, means a published edition of the whole or any part of one or more literary, dramatic or musical works or original databases;
The copyright belongs to the publisher.
Originally the term of protection under the 1963 act was 25 years. This was extended to 50 years from the date that the publication is first lawfully made available to the public. Published editions appear to embrace a significant part of the work concerned.