Wednesday, 17 November 2010

'Law for Journalists' - Chapter 17 Raw Notes

Copyright

What is protected by copyright? - Copyright is referred to as a 'branch of intellectual property', protects the product of peoples skills, creativity, labour, time.

Under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, the following are protected:
  • Literary work
  • Dramatic work
  • Artistic work
  • Musical work
  • Sound recording
  • Film
  • Broadcast
  • Typographical arrangement
When referring to news stories, it's important to note that there is in fact no copyright in facts, news, ideas or information. However, when news reporting, lifting facts from other papers may be infringement. This is because the writers and researchers of the paper where the information came from have input skill and labour into their report.

Publication without permission of a photograph of the whole or a substantial part of a television image is an infringement under Section 17 of the Copyright Act.

Copyright in Speeches – Under Section 58 of the Act, it is not infringement to use the record of the words for reporting current events, subject to the conditions below:
  • The record is a direct record and not taken from a previous record or broadcast
  • The speaker did not prohibit in making of the record and it did not infringe any existing copyright
  • The use being made of the record, or material taken from it, was not of a kind prohibited by the speaker or copyright owner before the record was made
  • The use being made of the record is with the authority of the person who is lawfully in possession of it
Who owns the copyright?

The first owner of a copyright work created after 31st July 1989 is the author but in the case of work done in the course of employment the employer is the owner, subject to any agreement on the contrary.

Social networking – Downloading pictures from an online profile – Downloading and publishing an image from a social networking site may infringe the copyright of the owner of the picture or the site itself.

Parliament and the courts – There is no copyright infringement in reporting Parliament, the courts, or public enquiries. Furthermore, there is normally no infringement in copying material which must be open to public inspection by Act of Parliament.

Public Interest Defence:

A court would be entitled to refuse to enforce copyright if the work was:
  • immoral, scandalous, or contrary to family life
  • Injurious to public life, public health or safety, or the administration of justice
  • Incited or encouraged others to act in a way injurious to those matters
Lion Laboratories Ltd v Evans [1985] was such a case

Length of Copyright:
  • Is currently 70 years from the end of the year of the author's death
  • Copyright in broadcast is 50 years
  • In 2008 the Government was considering extending copyright on sound recordings from 50 to 70 years
Innocent infringement – If the infringer did not know and had no reason to believe the work was subject to copyright, the copyright owner is entitled to an account of profits but not to damages.

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