How Does Copyright Law Work?

in September 2015 a judge ruled that the song happy birthday does not fall under a valid copyright although many people are unaware for decades

the song could not be used commercially without incurring royalties to warner/chappell music group they claim that they own the rights and collected an estimated two million dollars a year off of it but how is something so simple and universal even considered to be owned by single

company how exactly does copyright work well copyright is protection for tangible expressions of an idea it’s intended to give the creator of something original the ability to use and make money from it without others being able to use it themselves but copyright law isn’t a blanket ban

there are a number of limitations that do allow for widespread use first and foremost it’s important to note a distinction between copyright and trademark you might see these frequently represented by the symbols C and T M although they generally protect the derivatives of an idea also called intellectual property each applies to different types of property copyright tends to cover literary and artistic work for example movies and books trademark is more often used to protect

the company’s brand and would include things like logos and names trademark is the reason you don’t see thousands of knockoff McDonald’s restaurants while copyright is the reason you can’t just print and sell the Lord of the Rings books or download pirated movies but what you are an art allowed to do in regards to intellectual property is entirely based on which country you’re in and how strict their copyright laws are now most of the world adheres to the

Berne Convention which was the basis for most modern copyright law its greatest contribution was to establish the concept that the creator of a piece of work has automatic copyright from the moment of its creation in a fixed tangible form still there are small differences between countries in how that law is implemented and enforced looking at u.s. copyright law there are specific limitations on how long an idea can be controlled by a single person this is usually pegged to expire fifty to a hundred years after the death of the creator after which time it falls into public domain when something is in

public domain anyone can use and reproduce it there are also instances where small portion of copyrighted works can be used without violating copyright this is referred to as fair use and is usually for educational purposes parody criticism research and so on one of the biggest reasons for the this is to prevent censorship by saying that any mention of an existing work would violate its copyright copyright law is complicated and dense and it doesn’t even apply in a number of countries which haven’t signed any international copyright treaties but in the rest of the world the ability to control and profit off of your ideas is an important aspect of the economy and intellectual property there’s more to copyright law than meets the eye the same goes for the First Amendment to learn more about how complicated freedom of speech and religion are check out this video most importantly and perhaps the source of so much misunderstanding is that the Amendment begins with Congress shall make no law many people gloss over this part they believe that the First Amendment personally guarantees them an inalienable right to speech press religion and so on but all it really covers is what Congress is not allowed to restrict through specific laws thanks for watching make sure to LIKE and subscribe to this channel so you don’t miss out on any new videos