The texts selected hereinunder are used for underlying educative purpose with the sole aim of rising the awareness of the visitors to this site and enabling their rationale as to the publicly known matters of copyright.
[B]The usage of the texts defined hereinabove at this stage is believed to fall into the cathegory of fair usage, for the links and visible guidelines to the adresses of the copyright owneres are highly noticeable and pose no relevant intereference to any interest of the copyright holders whatsoever.
The mission of the texts presented hereinunder provides deficieny of any commercial gain derived therefrom.The whole web page, as currently set up, supplies basic information of the abstract tentatively tittled: Gatsby & Laurent Global Mega Hit Catalogue 2006-2011 and the abstract tentatively titled: Gatsby & Lauren Global Hit Bond 2006-2011.
The texts have been selected from the sources ransomely accessed by the author of this innovative model abstract designed to serve a start-up enterprises which raise capital thru the available Intellectual Capital by means of either the early age equity financing or the applicable securities issuance.
The difference between the Pre-Offer abstract relating to the abstract Gatsby & Lauren Global Mega Hit Catalogue 2006-2011 and the abstract Gatsby & Lauren Global Hit Bond 2006-2011, which shall be displayed by the February 28, 2006, both in English and Croatian language, and the preceding security issuances based on IP asset / receivables such as, namely, 'Bowie Bonds', originates in the particular goals and state of conditions.
The IP Bonds issued covered the established marketable assets whereas the Gatsby & Lauren Global Hit Bond 2006-2011 (tentative title) shall introduce the new technique and modus operandi to the start-up companies with IP assets in any form, maturity or shape all over the globe.
The expected Offer (displayed as the abstact for the time being) supported by the projected Prospect containing elaborate information on Gatsby & Lauren Global Mega Hit Catalogue 2006-2011+, as well as the commercial content thereto, shall not include any of copyrighted material for either informative or educational purposes other than the original material created by the authors of the Prospect and the Project, respectively.
The potential investors in a start-up company backed by the IP asset such as Music Rights should be enticed to consider such entities for their investing portfolio which shall in turn increase the new values manufacture in most economies.
Therefore,the model as exhibited on the web page is expected to attend to the welfare cause.
In accordance with the terms of the current circumstances, the visitors interested in fostering their views into further informative texts on Copyright, Trademarks, Pseudonyms, Industrial Designs are strongly invited to visit the web sites with prescribed content deemed to be the uppermost official source of informatiuon such as World Inteelectual Property Organisation ( ).
OFFICIAL DATA UPON THE BASICS OF COPYRIGHT AND RELATED RIGHTS
Resource: State Intelelectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia ()
Copyright law is a group of legal rules (among which in Croatia the most important is the Copyright and Related Rights Act) governing legal relations in respect of copyright works. Copyright is also the right of the author in his work.
The author of a work is a natural person who has created the work
. The author is presumed to be the person whose name, pseudonym or mark appears in the customary manner on the copies of the work, until proven to the contrary.
If several authors participated in the creation of a work a co-authors’ work is concerned.
If such a created work is an indivisible whole the co-authors have a joint copyright in it.
If two or more authors join their created works for the purpose of a joint use, each of them keeps the copyright in his/her own work.
A copyright work is an original intellectual creation in the literary, scientific and artistic domain, having an individual character, and being expressed in any manner whatsoever
For the notion of a copyright work as a basic notion of copyright law it is essential that it concerns an original intellectual creation, or the creation of human intellectual creativity, respectively. Originality, in the sense of copyright law, does not require the absolute novelty, but the so-called subjective originality or the novelty in subjective sense is required. A work is considered to be subjectively original if the author does not imitate another work known to him. Furthermore, a work has to be in the literary, scientific, or artistic domain. In addition, it has to be pointed out that the mentioned concept has a broader meaning in the copyright law than literary works in the theory of literature or artistic works in the history of art. The copyright protection is enjoyed by expressions, comprising a tangible form of an idea, achieved by means of various means of expression such as written or spoken word, body movement, sound, as two dimensional and three dimensional forms.
Copyright works are in particular
works of language (written works, oral works, computer programs),
musical works, with or without words,
dramatic and dramatico-musical works,
choreographic works and works of pantomime,
works of visual art (in the field of painting, sculpture and graphics), and other works of visual arts,
works of architecture,
works of applied art and industrial design,
photographic works and works produced by a process similar to photography,
audiovisual works (cinematographic works, and works created in a manner similar to cinematographic creation), cartographic works, presentations of a scientific or technical nature such as drawings, plans, sketches, tables, etc.
Subject matter of copyright protection does not include
ideas, scientific discoveries, processes, methods of operation and mathematical concepts,
official texts in the domain of legislation, administration, and judiciary, as well as, their collections, which are disclosed for the purpose of officially informing the public,
news of the day and other news, having the character of mere items of press information
Moral rights of the author – protect personal and intellectual ties of the author with his work,
Economic rights of the author - protect economic interests of the author in respect of his copyright work,
Other rights of the author – other interests of the author in respect of his work.
Related rights are the rights that have their special subject matter, which is mainly related to copyright. With regard to the similar subject matter, they are also called the rights related to copyright or simply related rights. With regard to the fact that they are close to copyright they are also called the rights neighbouring to copyright. According to the Copyright and Related Rights Act) they include
Right of performers
Right of producers of phonograms
Right of film producers
Right of broadcasting organizations
Right of publishers in their editions
Right of producers of databases
1. How and where can I protect my copyright work?
Copyright in a work belongs to it author by the mere act of creation of the work (by virtue of Article 9 para. 2 of the Copyright and Related Rights Act) with no formality to be complied with, such as registration or deposit of the work. Any deposit of the work is legally irrelevant for the acquisition of copyright.
A copyright work may be used only with the authorization of the author (in writing). Individual use of a copyright work has to be regulated by a corresponding contract in writing between a rightholder and a user of the subject matter of protection.
2. What is the meaning of disclosure and what of publication?
Disclosure comprises any act of making a work available to the public (publication, display, broadcasting), i.e. relates to the appearance of a copyright work in public, in any form whatsoever (tangible or non-tangible).
Publication is one of the forms of disclosure. This is the process by which a work is put, in a certain number of copies into circulation and thus is made available to the public i.e. relates to the copies of copyright works in material form, making any publication a disclosure, but not vice versa.
3. What is the meaning of the public?
The public means a larger number of persons that are outside the usual circle of persons closely tied with family or other personal relations.
4. What is the meaning of public use of a copyright work?
Public use of a copyright work is considered to be any use of a copyright work that is accessible to the public, or such use in the area that is accessible to members of the public as well as, providing to members of the public access to the work at a time and from a place individually chosen by them (by the Internet).
5. Are the translations made by professional translators and court interpreters copyright works?
Article 6 of the Copyright and Related Rights Act provides for that translations, as basic alterations of a copyright work, being original individual intellectual creations, are protected as independent copyright works. The same Article provides for that translations of official texts in the domain of legislation, administration and judiciary are protected, unless made for the purpose of officially informing the public and disclosed as such.
This means that all the translations of copyright works are always protected as copyright works. However, other translations fulfil, in most cases, the pre-requisites for copyright protection (subjective originality, intellectual creation and individual character). Still, if translations of official texts made for officially informing the public are concerned and if they are disclosed as such (e.g. a translation of the treaty disclosed in «Narodne novine» - the Official Gazette of the Republic of Croatia), the translations will share legal destiny of the basic work and will not enjoy copyright protection).
6. Is a synopsis for a yet unfixed audiovisual work a copyright work?
A synopsis i.e. a basic content or a «pre-screenplay» for an audiovisual work yet unfixed is a written copyright work, provided it is original, i.e. subjectively original – meaning that it does not imitate any other known work. The author of the synopsis becomes a copyright holder by the mere act of creation of the synopsis even without disclosure.
In most cases a synopsis and a screenplay are the works of the same author.
7. How to protect a screenplay for an audiovisual work?
A screenplay is a written copyright work and is the subject matter of copyright protection, by the mere act of creation of the work, without having to comply with any formalities.
However, after the creation of an audiovisual work a screenplay becomes part of a co-authors work, within the meaning of Article 11 of the Copyright and Related Rights act:
“Co-authors of a work are the persons who created the work jointly, and whose contributions cannot be used independently. Co-authors shall have a joint copyright in the created work, so a part of such copyright calculated in proportion to the whole copyright (co-authors part) shall belong to each of them”.
For some types of copyright works such contributions may be of the same sort (e.g. in computer programs), while for other works they are of different sort (e.g. for dramatico-musical or audiovisual works). According to the provisions of Article 116 of the Copyright and Related Rights Act, as co-authors of an audiovisual work shall be considered: the principal director, the author of screenplay, the author of dialogue, the principal cameraman, the composer of music specifically created for use in such work, the principal drawer, and the principal animator respectively, if a drawing or animation is essential element of an audiovisual work. It is provided for that other persons may also be co-authors of an audiovisual work (and not only the authors of contributions), if they prove that their copyright works represent essential parts of the audiovisual work.
8. Are standards copyright works and are they protected by copyright?
Standards introduced by the so called private persons are written copyright works of language, if they fulfil the prescribed pre-requisites for copyright works, i.e. if they are individual, intellectual and original creations. Such standards enjoy copyright protection.
However, the standards which have to be applied by someone and which form part of a certain regulation as an official work do not enjoy copyright protection, because they share legal destiny of other official works. The standards which form part of legal regulations and the standards to which particular legal regulation refer to are official works.
9. Can the author, who exercises his rights in the system of collective management of rights, authorize individually the use of his work in particular cases?
The reason why particular forms of exploitation of copyright works are managed collectively lies in the fact that, in particular cases, owing to the massive use (public communication of music, public lending, reproduction for private use), necessary contact between the users and authors to ensure on the one hand the author’s authorisation for the use and on the other hand remuneration to the author for such use is impracticable. Therefore, such forms of exploitation are authorized and paid all over the world by associations of authors, which provide to the user legality of use in respect of the whole repertoire represented by the association, and to the author – control over all (or the largest number) uses of his works. In order to enhance legal security many legislations (if not it, then the court practice) in many countries all over the world are introducing the institute comprising the so-called presumed power of attorney of one society in the country for management of the rights for a particular category of rightholders. Such a society represents all the authors in its country, as well as, the authors of other countries on the basis of agreements on reciprocal representation concluded with the corresponding foreign societies.
The above mentioned comprises certain obligations of associations of authors in relation to rightholders and users: the association must represent equally all the rightholders and treat equally all the users in the manner that they provide access to a copyright work and its use to any of them under equal terms. Following the above stated and by virtue of the provisions of the Copyright and Related Rights Act it is concluded that there is always a presumption of collective management of rights, if the right concerned is the right which is provided for as the right which may be managed collectively. If a rightholder did not, in the manner provided by the Act, refuse (refrain from) collective management of rights i.e. did not: 1. expressly, 2. in writing, 3. notify the association not to manage his rights (Article 159 para. 2 of the Copyright and Related Rights Act) he can not manage his right individually from case to case...
OFFICIAL INFORMATION ON TRADEMARK:
The Office examines whether the industrial design application as filed complies with formal requirements prescribed by the Law and the Regulations, and examines whether the prescribed fees and procedural charges are paid. In the case where the application does not comply with the prescribed requirements, the Office invites you to remedy the found deficiencies. Failing this the application will be rejected.
The correct application is further examined ex officio in respect to certain requirements for the registration of an industrial design, so the registration can be refused entirely or partially if:
the design does not comply with the definition itself of a design
the design is contrary to public policy or to accepted principles of morality
the design contains elements comprising national symbols, badges, emblems or escutcheons (coats of arms).
If your application is not contrary to requirements of the Law, the industrial design will be registered, and the data concerning the industrial design will be published in the Office official gazette (the Croatian Intellectual Property Gazette).
The Office does not examine ex officio the novelty of a design applying for registration, nor its individual character, which can be established as a possible legal invalidity subsequently, in the procedure for declaring the industrial design invalid...
The trademark filing relaters to the 'GATSBY & LAUREN GLOBAL' brand ; 'plus-' brand (featuring projected units and products :plusBANKA , InveST! plus, plusMEGA CARD etc.)
SINCE COPYRIGHT SHALL CONSTITUTE THE ESSENTIALS OF THE OFFER CURRENTLY IN (PRE)DEVELOPMENT, HEREINUNDER ARE EXPOSED FURTHER SELECTED TEXTS FOR BASIC INFORMATION AND FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES SOLELY:
SELECTED TEXT No 1 ((FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES SOLELY)
13 FACTS ABOUT COPYRIGHTS
from Nolo Press
at http://www.nolo.com/© Nolo Press
1. WHAT IS A COPYRIGHT?
A copyright is a legal device that provides the creator of a work of art or literature, or a work that conveys information or ideas, the right to control how the work is used. The Copyright Act of 1976--the federal law providing for copyright protection--grants authors a bundle of intangible, exclusive rights over their work. These rights include the:
· reproduction right-the right to make copies of a protected work.
· distribution right--the right to initially sell or otherwise distribute copies to the public.
· right to create adaptions (or "derivative works")--the right to prepare new works based on the protected work.
· performance and display rights--the right to perform a protected work, or display a work in public.
An author's copyright rights may be exercised only by the author--or by a person or entity to whom the author has transferred all or part of her rights. If someone wrongfully uses the material covered by the copyright, the copyright owner can sue and obtain compensation for any losses suffered.
2. WHAT DOES COPYRIGHT PROTECT?
Copyright protects original works of expression, like plays, paintings, sheet music, recorded music performances, novels, software code, artwork, sculptures, photographs, choreography and architectural designs. In fact, copyright protects any creative work that is fixed in a tangible medium of expression.
A work is protected by copyright only if, and to the extent, it is original--that is independently created by the author. A work does not have to be novel, and its quality, ingenuity and aesthetic merit does not matter. So long as a work was independently created by its author, it is protected by copyright even if other similar works already exist.
3. WHEN DOES COPYRIGHT PROTECTION BEGIN?
A copyright automatically comes into existence the moment an author fixes her words in some tangible form--for instance, the moment a book or article is typed, handwritten or dictated. No further action need be taken.
4. MUST A WORK CONTAIN A COPYRIGHT NOTICE TO BE PROTECTED?
p>No. A copyright notice has not been necessary to obtain copyright protection for works published since March 1, 1989, it is still a very good idea to include one anyway. When a work contains a valid copyrigt notice, an infringer cannot claim in court that he didn't know it was copyrighted. This makes it much easier to win a copyright infringement case. Moreover, the existence of a notice might discourage infringment.
The copyright notice should contain (1) the "c" in a circle ©; (2) the name of the author or owner of all the copyright rights in the published work; and (3) the date of publication.
5. SHOULD YOU REGISTER YOUR WORK WITH THE COPYRIGHT OFFICE?
If the work is valuable, it should be registered. Registration is not mandatory, but it gives you right to get attorneys' fees and statutory damages up to $100,000 in an infringement suit. Registration is relatively easy: You fill out an application form and submit it along with two copies of the work to the Copyright Office.
6. DOES COPYRIGHT KEEP OTHERS FROM RIPPING OFF A NOVELIST'S INNOVATIVE PLOT OR IDEAS EXPRESSED IN HER NOVEL?
As a general rule, no. The key to understanding copyright is understanding that it applies only to a particular expression and not to the ideas or facts underlying the expression.
For instance, copyright may protect a particular song, novel or computer game about a romance in space, but it cannot protect the the underlying concept or idea of having a love affair among the stars.
Moreover, copyright does not protect facts--whether scientific, historical, biographical or news of the day. Thus, the facts that an author discovers in the course of research are in the public domain, free to all. This is so even if the author spends considerable time and effort discovering previously unknown facts. Copyright only protects fixed, original and minimally creative expression.
7. DOES COPYRIGHT PROTECT WHAT I SAY IN AN ON-LINE FORUM OR SEMINAR?
Technically it does, as long as your words are your own and no one elses. However, it doesn't protect your bright ideas that you share with your on-line friends, only your words. Also, a legal doctrine known as fair use may allow others to use your words for educational or news purposes.
8. COULD YOU EXPLAIN A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE FAIR USE RULE?
Society can often benefit from the unauthorized use of copyrighted materials when the purpose of the use serves the ends of scholarship, education or an informed public. For instance, scholars are free to quote from their research resources in order to comment on the material.
9. HOW CAN YOU TELL IN ADVANCE IF SOMETHING IS A FAIR USE?
Often it's difficult. In deciding whether a use is a fair use, you need to consider: (1) is it a competitve use (for instance, would people buy your work instead of the material you're using?) ; (2) how much are you taking; (3) the quality of the material taken. Criticism and comment, news reporting, research and scholarship, and non-profit educational uses are most likely to be judged fair uses. Used motivited primarily by a desire for a commercial gain are less likely to be fair.
As a general rule, if you are using a small portion of somebody else's work in a non-competitive way and the purpose for your use is to benefit the public in some way, you're on pretty safe ground. On the other hand, if you take large portions of someone else's expression for your own purely commercial reasons, the rule usually won't apply.
10. DO THE CREATORS OF A WORK ALWAYS OWN THE COPYRIGHT?
Not always. Copyrights are generally owned by the people who create the works of expression, with three important exceptions:
· 1) the employer owns the copyright in a work created by an employee in the course of his or her employment;
· 2) the entity commissioning a creative work owns the copyright in it when the creator works as an independent contractor and signs a written work for hire agreement; and
· 3) a business or person other than the creator may own the copyright by purchasing it from the creator.
11. HOW LONG DOES A COPYRIGHT LAST?
Most copyrights last for the life of the author plus fifty years. However, if the work is a work for hire or is published anonymously or under a pseudonym, the copyright lasts between seventy five and one hundred years, depending on the date the work is published.
12. WHEN IS A WORK CONSIDERED TO BE IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN?
Most works enter the public domain because their copyright has expired. However, some works published before 1989 became public domain material because they didn't carry the proper copyright notice (a notice is no longer required to maintain a copyright). Also, many works published before 1964 have entered the public domain because the copyright owners did not renew their copyright under the law then in effect.
When a work is in the public domain, it can be used by anyone without the author's permission. For instance, Shakespeare is in the public domain.
13. HOW ARE COPYRIGHTS ENFORCED? IS GOING TO COURT NECESSARY?
If a person infringes (violates) the exclusive rights of a copyright owner, the courts will step in and issue orders (restraining orders and injunctions) to prevent further violations, award money damages if appropriate, and in some circumstances award attorneys' fees.
SELECTED TEXT No 2 (FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES SOLELY):
YOUR QUESTIONS ON THE LAW AND ONLINE MUSIC ANSWERED
1. Who actually holds the copyright in a piece of music - artist, record company, composer/publisher or all three?
There is generally more than one owner of rights in any given track. The people who wrote the tune and the lyrics and/or their publishers own authors' rights, which is the classic copyright. The artist that performs that music has certain 'related rights' as a performer. And a record label typically owns the copyright or producer's related rights in the particular recording of the song.
Permission is needed from all of these people who created the music-or those to whom they have assigned their rights-in order to use the music.
2. How do I know if there's a copyright on a particular piece of music?
All music and recordings of music are copyrighted and also subject to protections of 'related rights' as of the date they are created, and for at least 50 years afterwards (up to 120 years in some countries). In Europe, for example, authors and music publishers retain copyright for 70 years after the death of the author. You may find a copyright or other notice indicating that the music is protected (e.g. © (P) 2003, Acme Records Ltd. All rights reserved), but these are not necessary. Protection is automatic.
3. How do I know if what I'm doing is legal or illegal?
Under copyright and related rights it is not legal to copy, adapt, translate, perform, or broadcast a protected work or recording, or put it on the internet, unless a specific exception exists in the copyright law of your country, or unless you have permission from all of the relevant owners of rights.
Copyright and related protections apply in virtually every country. In fact they are required by international law in the 150 countries that are members of various copyright treaties, and the 145 countries that are members of the World Trade Organisation.
4. Is it illegal for me to copy and distribute music even if I'm not making money out of it?
The question of whether you are doing copying for profit may affect what penalties apply, but does not determine whether you are in breach of copyright.
The legal case against the illegal file-sharing service Napster proved the point. The court found that users of that peer-to-peer service were engaged in 'commercial' copying even though no money changed hands. The key ruling of the court was that 'Napster users get for free something that they would ordinarily have to buy.' Napster, 114 F. Supp. 2d, at 912.
5. Isn't it legal to make copies for my own personal use?
The laws of some countries have limited exceptions to the rights owners' rights to control copying, which allow a limited number of copies to be made strictly for personal and private use.
These exceptions do not apply, however, if you make available or transmit copyright material over the internet, distribute your 'private' copies, or (in many countries) copy from illegal sources. In short, the law does not allow indiscriminate peer-to-peer transfers of copyright material. These do not fit the definition of 'private' copies. This is 'public' copying among millions of users.
6. If I have bought a legitimate CD, can't I do what I like with the music on it?
In buying a legitimate CD you have paid for the right to own the physical disc, to play it privately, and to pass on the same physical disc to another person. You have not bought the right to distribute copies, whether on CD-R or over the internet.
7. So what if I break the law - what can anyone do about it?
Where people persistently make music available on the internet in breach of copyright laws, they are in effect acting as copyright thieves and that exposes them to the risk of legal action by the copyright holders.
Owners of copyright and related rights regularly take action in different countries to remove illegal material from the internet and to seek civil or criminal sanctions against infringers. Hundreds of millions of music files are removed from the internet each year through co-operation between internet service providers and the music industry.
Civil and criminal lawsuits have been taken against internet infringers in many countries. The music industry has announced its intention to step up action against copyright theft of this type.
8. Is there a copyright on all music, including music that may no longer be available commercially?
Generally, yes. While some very old songs may have fallen into the public domain, the vast bulk of those that appear on the internet are still under copyright protection.
The fact that a song or a track is no longer offered commercially by its creators is not relevant. It's their music, and copyright gives them the right to withdraw their work from commercial publication if they like.
9. What if I just want to download a few songs to see if it's worth buying the album?
That's fine if you're allowed to so by the holder of the rights. Some commercial sites let you listen to clips from particular songs, or sample a limited download of tracks from their service, as a 'taster' of the music.
But there is no general right or exception that lets you copy before you buy without permission, for the obvious reason that once something is copied it probably won't be bought.
10. Is it all right to transmit and copy material over the internet if it is marked with 'delete within 24 hours', 'for evaluation purposes', or a similar disclaimer?
These excuses are not recognised by copyright. The law looks to the reality of what is happening-unauthorised transmission and reproduction of somebody else's music-rather than 'fine print' that is clearly false.
11. Does it make a difference how much I'm uploading?
You are likely to be breaking the law whether you are uploading one copyrighted song or thousands. Of course the impact on the legitimate music community of what you are doing is more serious the more music you are illegally uploading.
12. Is all file-sharing illegal?
The vast bulk of peer-to-peer 'file sharing' is considered illegal copying and transmission of copyright material. But this is a matter of choice for the rights owners involved. It's fine if the owners of rights for any particular song agree that it could be put on a peer-to-peer service and copied and transmitted without payment or restriction.
Most rights owners do not do this, however, because they see peer-to-peer activities as hurting sales of music and the livelihoods of people in the business.
13. What if I download music from a site from a different country than the one I'm in, where the law might be different?
Internet activities of this sort typically involve acts of copying, transmission, or distribution in both countries, so both countries' laws would apply. Copyright owners usually take action in the country in which the infringer is located, however.
Among most of the countries where the internet is prevalent, there are international agreements in place allowing court judgements in one country to be enforced in the other. This process would be typically used only in complicated or unusual cases.
14. Where can I find out more about the different laws on copying and copyright?
What is copyright? FAQs. World Intellectual Property Organisation.
What is copyright? Copyright and the internet. The international legal framework. IFPI.
Where can I look at various countries' copyright laws? WIPO collection of laws for electronic access.
SELECTED TEXT No 3 (FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES SOLELY):
DIY: Copyrights, Trademarks and Publication
by Ram Samudral
from Twisted Helices at http://www.ram.org/music/making/tips/
Doing it Yourself: Copyrights, Trademarks, and Publication
Now you have a cool studio and you've come up with a great band name and recorded a bunch of songs you consider brilliant. Are you losing sleep worrying about people "stealing" your music or your band name? Do you need to have a label to release music?
Current copyright law says that you own the rights to a work when you create it. Thus if the rights to use your work ever comes into question, you just have to be able to prove in a court of law that you created your stuff (first). What copyright registration does for you is give you the ability to present concrete evidence in a court. As a friend of mine said "someone came up with a scam to make money `selling' copyrights". But, if your work means something, get it registered. It's very easy and it's only $20. You can get the forms and more information from the Copyright Office at the Library of Congress.
Contrary to popular belief, you can't copyright names. You can register a trademark, or more appropriately a service mark, for them. But the service mark rights, like copyrights, by default belongs to the first person who uses it in practice. As does the right to register to it. Registering a service mark is kinda expensive. But you can get the forms, and more information, from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
ASCAP, BMI, etc., are performing rights organisations. They collect royalties for music performed that is written by you. The BMI and ASCAP pages have a lot of relevant information on this topic, much more than what I have here. Check it out!
Generally, if you're the only artist being distributed, there is no need to have a label. However, there are some advantages to going the label route, and certainly some advantages to treating the whole thing as a business, in terms of tax breaks and the like. This is a route I've chosen not to pursue for a variety of reasons, primary one being that it doesn't do anything for me. However, see the Going Legal section in the Simple Minds Guide to putting out records, and the articles section in IndieCentre for more information.
SELECTED TEXT No 4 (FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES SOLELY):
History of Copyright - A Chronology
(as applicable in Britain, unless otherwise stated)
© Music Business Journal 2001-2002 wwww.musicjournal.org
Copyright is not a new idea. Even scholars in Ancient Greece and Rome had to insist upon their right to be recognised as the authors of their works (the right of paternity) in an era when plagiarism was no crime. However, these scholars certainly had no automatic, legal right to income from their works (the economic right). In the Middle Ages - a time when most of the population was illiterate, and manuscripts laboriously copied by hand and available only to the privileged few - copyright was not a major issue.
Gutenberg and Caxton changed all that - with the introduction of mechanical printing, and the subsequent viability of commercial publishing. Half a millennium later, the Internet has further revolutionised matters, because it permits virtually unlimited duplication of documents at a single key-stroke. Jim Griffin, former Director of Technology at Geffen Records, has characterised the digital age as the era of the "friction-free Gutenberg."
· 1455 - Johannes Gutenberg is the first in the Western world to print using movable type. In about 1455, in Mainz, he produces his famous Bible, the first complete typeset book extant in the West. (If Gutenberg's process revolutionises the dissemination of the printed word, the Internet will go a vital step further at the end of the 20th century.)
· 1492 - William Caxton introduces the printing press into England.
· 1557 - Queen Mary I gives control of all printing and bookselling to a single guild, the Stationer's Company.
· 1662 - The Licensing Act establishes a register of licensed books, as well as requiring a copy of a licensed book to be deposited with the Stationer's Company, who are given powers to seize books suspected of being hostile to Church or Government.
· 1681 - The Licensing Act is repealed, but the Stationer's Company has now passed a by-law establishing rights of ownership for books registered to its members, so the Company is able to continue regulating the printing trade.
· 1707 - Following the political union between Scotland and England on 1st May 1707, laws passed by the London Parliament now became generally applicable throughout Great Britain.
· 1709/10 - The Statute of Anne is enacted in 1709, which becomes effective on 10th April, 1710. Copyright in books and other writings now has the protection of an Act of Parliament. Prior to this, disputes over the rights to the publishing of books could be enforced by common law. The Statute of Anne (being a law passed during the reign of Queen Anne) is the first modern copyright law in England, and the first in the English-speaking world. Writers are given control of their works for a limited period of 14 years (with the option of renewing for another 14 years).
· 1774 - The House of Lords declares that authors and publishers have no absolute property rights over their works.
· 1790 - Like the Statute of Anne in Britain, the U.S. Copyright Act of 1790 gives writers of books, maps, and charts a 14-year copyright, with the option of renewing for a similar period. Major revisions to the Act are undertaken in 1831, 1870, 1909 and 1976.
· 1833 - In the reign of William IV, the Dramatic Copyright Act is enacted. It is commonly known as "Bulwer Lytton's Act" - after the prolific writer, poet and dramatist, Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, who promoted this seminal statute concerned with stage works. This is effectively the first British Act to protect performing rights in dramatic works, though only for a limited number of years. (The performing right is defined as the "sole right of representation or performance"). After this Act, many other copyright measures are passed, most of which are repealed on the passing of the great codifying Act of 1911.
· 1842 - In the subsequent Literary Copyright Act of 1842, authors are granted lifetime property rights in their own work. This Act grants copyright for 42 years from the date of publication, or the life of the author plus 7 years, whichever is the greater. But the Act fails to cover performances of dramatization of non-dramatic works. Unless an author dramatizes his own literary works, stage productions are not copyright protected. Further, if a play is published before being produced, the performing right is usually lost. As a consequence, some authors employ actors to give a single "copyright performance" - of a stage dramatization of one of their works (a novel, or narrative poem, for instance) - "in a place of public entertainment", in order to establish dramatic copyright.
· 1873 - The need for international protection of intellectual creations becomes clear when many foreign exhibitors boycott The International Exhibition of Inventions in Vienna. They fear, as has previously occurred, that their ideas will be stolen and commercially exploited in other countries.
· 1875 - A Royal Commission in Britain sests that present copyright-related Acts be improved and codified, and recommends that the government enter a bilateral copyright agreement with the United States of America.
· 1883/4 - The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property is signed by 14 European member states, and enters force in 1884.
· 1884 - The Society of Authors is founded for "the maintenance, definition, and defence of Literary Property". The Society's first objective is to obtain copyright protection for English authors in the United States. Among its other aims, it also lobbies for a Bill for the Registration of Titles.
· 1886/7 - The seminal Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works is signed (in Berne, Switzerland). It intends to give international copyright protection to the creative works of the citizens of European member state signatories. Works protected include: novels, short stories, poems and plays; songs, operas, musicals, sonatas and symphonies; drawings, paintings, sculptures and architectural works. In the International Copyright Act of 1886, Great Britain gives assent to the obligations of the Berne Convention. This Act abolishes the requirement to register foreign works, and introduces an exclusive right to import or produce translations. The U.K. ratifies the Berne Convention with effect from 5th December, 1887. The U.S., however, remains governed by its 1790 Copyright Act, and is not subject to the Berne Convention. Longstanding U.S. literary and musical piracy of works by European authors and composers (and vice-versa) continues to be an accepted way of life for publishers, until finally brought to an end by the establishment of separate bilateral copyright agreements with the U.S.. The Berne Convention is revised in 1908 and 1928. The Berlin Act of 1908 extends the duration of copyright to the life of the author plus 50 years, takes account of new technologies, and declares that formal registration is unnecessary in order to hold a copyright. The Rome Act of 1928 is the first to codify the moral rights of authors and artists.
· 1909 - A major third revision to the U.S. Copyright Act is completed. More categories of protected works are included than ever before (effectively, all works of authorship). The renewal term is also extended from 14 years to 28, taking the total possible period of protection to 56 years. With respect to music, Congress declares: "The main object to be desired in expanding copyright protection afforded to music has been to give the composer an adequate return for the value of his composition …"
· 1911/12 - The great codifying Copyright Act, 1911, comes into force in Britain on 1st July, 1912. For the first time, all provisions on copyright are unified in one Act. The Act adds to the composer's rights that of controlling reproductions of his work by any mechanical means, and his right to authorise performances. Sound recordings are now protected (as are works of architecture). The Act abolishes the requirement to register copyright with Stationer's Hall, and abolishes common law copyright protection in unpublished works, apart from unpublished drawings and photographs. Copyright duration is extended: it is granted for the life of the holder plus fifty years after his death. This new Act gives the copyright holder three principal rights:
(1) to print and sell copies of his work [largely via publishers];
(2) to reproduce his work by means of mechanical contrivances, such as gramophone records and perforated piano rolls [thus the necessity of establishing what became the MCPS];
(3) to perform works in public, and to authorise these acts [thus the necessity of establishing the PRS].
Each of these rights can be separately exercised.
· 1934 - Following a test case brought by the Gramophone Company against a coffee shop [Gramophone Company Ltd. v. Stephen Cawardine & Co. (1934)], the British courts now recognised that owners of sound recordings should be paid for the broadcasting and public performance of their copyrights (songwriters were already being remunerated for these activities by virtue of their membership of the Performing Right Society). This acknowledgement of a separate right (from songwriters' rights), led to the establishment of a new collection society - PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) - with a specific remit to collect and distribute broadcasting and public performance royalties on behalf of UK sound recording owners.
· 1956/7 - The Copyright Act, 1956, comes into force on 1st June, 1957. It takes into account further amendments to the Berne Convention, and also the Universal Copyright Convention, to which the U.K. is a signatory. Films and broadcasts are now protected in their own right. The Performing Right Tribunal, predecessor of the Copyright Tribunal, is established.
· 1961 - The Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations is signed. This proves important to the recording industry, and assists in the prevention of recorded music piracy (further strengthened by the later Geneva Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms, of 1971.)
· 1967/70 - The Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organisation is signed (of which the international bureaus set up to administer the Paris and Berne Conventions, almost a century earlier, were forerunners). (WIPO, as an international copyright umbrella organisation, commences operations in 1970.)
· 1976 - In the fourth major revision of the U.S. Copyright Act, fair use and first sale doctrines are codified for the first time, and copyright is extended to unpublished works. In anticipation of becoming a Berne signatory, this statute is framed to bring the U.S. more into line with international copyright law.
· 1984 - Richard Stallman, working at MIT, founds the Free Software Foundation, which is believed to be the first anti-copyright organisation of the digital era.
· 1988 - The United States finally becomes a signatory to the Berne Convention.
· 1988/9 - The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, supersedes the various amendments to the Copyright Act, 1956. The 1988 Act comes into force on 1st August, 1989. In addition to economic rights, this Act introduces the concept of moral rights for the first time (The Right of Paternity and The Right of Integrity). (This present Act continues to be amended, and now incorporates various European Directives.)
· 1990 - The U.S. Copyright Act is amended in order to prohibit the commercial lending of computer software.
· 1994 - John Perry Barlow (a former lyric writer for The Grateful Dead, and co- founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation) declares, in a widely read manifesto, that intellectual property law "cannot be patched, retrofitted, or expanded to contain digitized expression".
· 1995/6 - The period of copyright is extended, in Europe and then America, to the life of the author plus 70 years p.m.a. (post mortem auctoris) for most printed works. (Sound recordings remain at 50 years.) (See the actual amendments to the 1988 CDPA for various details and exceptions, and dates of applicability. In the U.K., works created on/after 1st January 1996 become 70-years p.m.a..)
· 1996 - In the U.S., the TRIPS Agreement restores, from 1st January, 1996, copyright protection to many works of foreign origin which are already in the public domain in the United States.
· 1996 - On 1 December, the UK formally adopted European Union Directive 92/100/EEC which was concerned with rental, lending and neighbouring rights matters. This meant that those featured artists and session performers who performed on sound recordings which were broadcast or performed in public after 1 December 1996 in the UK now had a legal right to receive "equitable remuneration" for this use of the copyright. As well as PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited), the legislation subsequently led to the need for further collection societies in the UK - namely, PAMRA (Performing Artists' Media Rights Association) and AURA (Association of United Recording Artists). Fees are paid by the user of the sound recording (e.g. radio station or nightclub etc.) and are collected at source by PPL. Half of this income is paid by PPL to the owners of the sound recordings (record companies). The remainder is distributed to the featured artists and session performers through their individual membership of either PPL, PAMRA or AURA.
· 1998 - The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is enacted in the United States. It is soon criticised as being already out of date in respect of new Internet and other technological developments. The Internet music-file swap site, Napster, when sued by all the major record companies, is to use the Act to argue (unsuccessfully) in court that Napster is merely a "dumb pipe" - a conductor of digitised information - and therefore is not liable for users' copyright infringements (which Napster facilitates).
· 2001 - The European Copyright Directive (Directive 2001/29/EC) which harmonises certain aspects of copyright across the 15 member states is approved by the European Parliamant and the European Council (22 May).
· 2002 - Effective from 1st January, 2002, the German Bundestag (Parliament) introduces a new law to provide for collective bargaining between organisations representing creators and exploiters of intellectual property, aimed at encouraging fairer remuneration for creators - including the statutory right for creators to ask for payment reviews and audits of companies involved in such exploitation.
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CREATIVE COMMONS – A NEW DIMENSION OF COPYWRITING (
Frequently Asked Questions
Please note that Creative Commons does not provide legal advice, so while this FAQ is designed to be helpful in raising awareness about the use of our licenses, it is by nature not a complete discussion nor a substitute for legal advice. It may not cover important issues that affect you and, depending on your situation, you may wish to consult with a lawyer.
Questions for people thinking about applying a Creative Commons license to their work
How do I apply a Creative Commons® license to my work?
For online works, you apply a Creative Commons license to a work by selecting the license that suits your preferences. Once you have selected your license, and if you are applying it to an online work, follow the instructions to include the html code in your work. This code will automatically generate the “Some Rights Reserved” button and a statement that your work is licensed under a Creative Commons license, or a “No Rights Reserved” button if you choose to dedicate your work to the public domain. The button is designed to act as a notice to people who come in contact with your work that your work is licensed under the applicable Creative Commons license. The html code will also include the metadata that enables your work to found via Creative Commons-enabled search engines.
Can I apply a Creative Commons license to an offline work?
Yes. For offline works, you should identify which Creative Commons license you wish to apply to your work and then mark your work either: (a) with a statement such as “This work is licensed under the Creative Commons [insert description] License. To view a copy of this license, visit [insert url]; or, (b) send a letter to Creative Commons, 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.” or insert the applicable license buttons with the same statement and URL link. The only difference between applying a Creative Commons license to an offline work and applying it to an online work is that offline works will not include the metadata and, consequently, will not be identified via Creative Commons-customized search engines.
How does a Creative Commons license operate?
A Creative Commons license is based on copyright. So they apply to all works that are protected by copyright law. The kinds of works that are protected by copyright law are books, websites, blogs, photographs, films, videos, songs and other audio & visual recordings, for example. Software programs are also protected by copyright but, as explained below, we do not recommend that you apply a Creative Commons license to software code. Creative Commons licenses give you the ability to dictate how others may exercise your copyright rights—such as the right of others to copy your work, make derivative works or adaptations of your work, to distribute your work and/or make money from your work. They do not give you the ability to restrict anything that is otherwise permitted by exceptions or limitations to copyright—including, importantly, fair use or fair dealing—nor do they give you the ability to control anything is not protected by copyright law, such as facts and ideas.
Creative Commons licenses attach to the work and authorize everyone who comes in contact with the work to use it consistent with the license. This means that if Bob has a copy of your Creative Commons-licensed work, Bob can give a copy to Carol and Carol will be authorized to use the work consistent with the Creative Commons license. You then have a license agreement separately with both Bob and Carol.
Creative Commons licenses are expressed in three different formats: the Commons Deed (human-readable code), the Legal Code (lawyer-readable code); and the metadata (machine readable code). You don’t need to sign anything to get a Creative Commons license—just select your license at our ‘Publish’ page.
One final thing you should understand about Creative Commons licenses is that they are all non-exclusive. This means that you can permit the general public to use your work under a Creative Commons license and then enter into a separate and different non-exclusive license with someone else, for example, in exchange for money.
What things should I think about before I apply a Creative Commons license to my work?
We have set out some things that you should think about before you apply a Creative Commons license to your work at this page.
Which Creative Commons license should I choose?
You should choose the license that meets your preferences. The license is a statement as to what others may do with your work, so you should select a license that matches what you are happy for others to do with your work. You can find an overview of the Creative Commons licenses here.
You can find out information about how our licenses have been applied by other people to text, audio, images, video and educational works.
You can also participate in our email discussion lists and/or review the discussion archives to see if our community is able to respond to your questions and concerns and/or has already addressed them.
Finally, you can also consult with a lawyer to obtain advice on the best license for your needs. For information about how you may be able to locate a suitably qualified lawyer, please refer to this question and answer.
What if I change my mind?
Creative Commons licenses are non-revocable. This means that you cannot stop someone, who has obtained your work under a Creative Commons license, from using the work according to that license. You can stop distributing your work under a Creative Commons license at any time you wish; but this will not withdraw any copies of your work that already exist under a Creative Commons license from circulation, be they verbatim copies, copies included in collective works and/or adaptations of your work. So you need to think carefully when choosing a Creative Commons license to make sure that you are happy for people to be using your work consistent with the terms of the license, even if you later stop distributing your work.
Do I need to sign something or register to obtain a Creative Commons license?
No. Creative Commons licenses are designed to be applied to your work and to be binding upon people who use your work based on their notice of the Creative Commons “Some Rights Reserved” (or “No Rights Reserved” in the case of the public domain dedication) button and the statement that the work is Creative Commons-licensed.
We do not keep track of or a register of which creative works have been licensed under a Creative Commons license. We make the licenses, code and tools available for you to use or not as you wish.
What is the Commons Deed? What is the legal code? What does the html/metadata do?
Creative Commons licenses are expressed in three different formats: the Commons Deed (human-readable code), the Legal Code (lawyer-readable code); and the metadata (machine readable code).
The Commons Deed is a summary of the key terms of the actual license (which is the Legal Code)—basically, what others can and cannot do with the work. Think of it as the user-friendly interface to the Legal Code beneath. This Deed itself has no legal value, and its contents do not appear in the actual license.
The Legal Code is the actual license; a document designed to be enforced in a court of law.
The metadata describes the key license elements that apply to a piece of content to enable discovery through customized search engines.
I am in a band; can I use Creative Commons licenses but still collect statutory royalties such as under statutory licenses for public performances?
Yes, so long as you choose a “NonCommercial” license option (ie. Attribution-NonCommercial, Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike or Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives) because under these licenses you reserve the right to collect royalties under statutory or compulsory licenses for commercial use of your work. Whether, as a practical matter, you can collect these royalties, depends on which country you are in (check out the answer to the next question).
Under the Creative Commons licenses that permit other people to make commercial use of your work (ie. Attribution, Attribution-ShareAlike, Attribution-NoDerivatives), the licensor waives the right to collect these royalties.
I am a member of a collecting society, can I use Creative Commons licenses?
You need to check with your society. Currently, many of the collecting societies in Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Taiwan and the Netherlands take an assignment of rights (or in France what is called a “mandate” of rights that nonetheless has the same effect practically as an assignment) from you in present and future works (so that they effectively become the owner of these rights) and manage them for you. So if you are already a member of a collecting society in one of these jurisdictions, you may not be entitled to license your work yourself under a Creative Commons license because the necessary rights are not held by you but by the collecting society. Please also read the FAQ on the website of the Creative Commons project team for your jurisdiction for more information about this issue in your jurisdiction.
Creative Commons is reaching out to collecting societies in those jurisdictions where this problem arises to try to find a solution that enables creators to enjoy the benefits both systems offer.
If you encounter difficulties with using Creative Commons licenses because of your membership in a collecting society in your jurisdiction that is not listed above, please let either your country’s Creative Commons project team know or email email@example.com. Also, if you wish to discuss ways to try to deal with the situation in your country please contact your country’s Creative Commons project team.
If you are already a member of one of these collecting societies, feel free to encourage your collecting society to give you the option of Creative Commons licensing.
Can I still make money from a work I make available under a Creative Commons licenses?
Absolutely. Firstly, because our licenses are non-exclusive which means you are not tied down to only make a piece of your content available under a Creative Commons license; you can also enter into other revenue-generating licenses in relation to your work. One of our central goals is to encourage people to experiment with new ways to promote and market their work.
Secondly, the noncommercial license option is an inventive tool designed to allow people to maximize the distribution of their works while keeping control of the commercial aspects of their copyright. To make one thing clear that is sometimes misunderstood: the "noncommercial use" condition applies only to others who use your work, not to you (the licensor). So if you choose to license your work under a Creative Commons license that includes the “noncommercial use” option, you impose the ”noncommercial” condition on the users (licensees). However, you, the creator of the work and/or licensor, may at any time decide to use it commercially. People who want to copy or adapt your work, "primarily for monetary compensation or financial gain" must get your separate permission first.
One thing to note on the noncommercial provision: under current U.S. law, file-sharing or the trading of works online is considered a commercial use -- even if no money changes hands. Because we believe that file-sharing, used properly, is a powerful tool for distribution and education, all Creative Commons licenses contain a special exception for file-sharing. The trading of works online is not a commercial use, under our documents, provided it is not done for monetary gain.
Do I need to register my copyright?
In most jurisdictions, registration is not required. However, for creators in the United States registration can be obtained and is advisable so that you can enforce your copyright in court. For US-based creators, you should check out the U.S. Copyright Office’s ‘Copyright Basics’ page, which explains more about copyright registration.
How do I register my copyright?
If you are based in the US, to find out more about how to register your copyright, check out the U.S. Copyright Office’s ‘Copyright Basics’ page.
Is applying a Creative Commons license to my work the same or an alternative to registering the copyright to my work?
No. Applying a Creative Commons license to your work does not give you the same, similar or alternate protection to registering your copyright. Creative Commons licenses apply in addition to and on top of an existing copyright.
Do I need to register my copyright in order to use a Creative Commons license?
No. Creative Commons licenses apply to works that are copyrighted. As a general rule, in most jurisdictions, copyright protection is automatic for those works that satisfy the requirements of copyright law. Generally, copyright attaches to creative and expressive works once they are fixed in tangible form, ie. the minute you put pen to paper, brush to easel, hit the “save” button on your computer, the “send” button on your email or take a photo.
For U.S. based creators, registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office is advisable so that you can enforce your copyright in court. For US-based creators, you should check out the U.S. Copyright Office’s ‘Copyright Basics’ page which explains more about copyright registration.
Do I need a copyright notice to protect my work?
You do not need to apply a copyright notice to secure copyright protection. However, a copyright notice can be useful because it clearly signals to people that you believe you own copyright in your work and who to contact.
Do Creative Commons licenses affect fair use, fair dealing or other exceptions to copyright?
No. All jurisdictions allow some uses of copyrighted material without permission, such as quotation, current-affairs reporting, or parody, although these vary from country to country. These are not dependent on the license and so cannot be affected by it. To make this clear, all of our licenses include this or similar language: “Nothing in this license is intended to reduce, limit, or restrict any rights arising from fair use, first sale or other limitations on the exclusive rights of the copyright owner under copyright law or other applicable laws.” Thus, regardless of the jurisdiction a user is in, our licenses do not affect a user’s right to use or allow use of content under copyright exceptions.
Can I use a Creative Commons license for software?
Creative Commons licenses are not intended to apply to software. They should not be used for software. We strongly encourage you to use one of the very good software licenses available today. The licenses made available by the Free Software Foundation or listed at the Open Source Initiative should be considered by you if you are licensing software or software documentation. Unlike our licenses -- which do not make mention of source or object code -- these existing licenses were designed specifically for use with software.
Creative Commons has “wrapped” some free software/open source licenses with its Commons Deed and metadata if you wish to use these licenses and still take advantage of the Creative Commons human-readable code and Creative Commons customized search engine technology. You can find more details here.
Should I use Creative Commons licenses for software documentation?
Absolutely. Creative Commons licenses work well for all text materials.
What happens when a copyright owner says her work is governed by two different Creative Commons licenses?
As a user, you can choose to use the work under either license. Generally, a licensor that offers the same work under two different licenses gives the public a choice between them. If, for example, a photograph is governed by one license with a NonCommercial provision, plus a separate license with a NoDerivatives provision, it does not mean that both provisions apply together. If an owner wants both to apply together, she should be sure to choose a single license that contains both provisions.
Are Creative Commons licenses enforceable in a court of law?
The Creative Commons Legal Code has been drafted with the intention that it will be enforceable in court. That said, we can not account for every last nuance in the world's various copyright laws and/or the circumstances within which our licenses are applied and Creative Commons-licensed content is used. Please note, however, that our licenses contain "severability" clauses -- meaning that, if a certain provision is found to be unenforeceable in a certain place, that provision and only that provision drops out of the license, leaving the rest of the agreement intact.
Will Creative Commons help me enforce my license?
Unfortunately, Creative Commons is not permitted to provide legal advice or legal services to assist you with enforcing the licenses. We cannot afford to provide any ancillary services particular to your situation and, in any case, our mission does not include providing such services. We are not a law firm. We're much like a legal self-help press that offers form documentation -- at no cost -- for you to use however you see fit.
However, if you are based in the US, you may be able to find a suitably qualified volunteer lawyer in your area from this site. If you are based in Australia, the Arts Law Centre of Australia may be able to put you in touch with a volunteer lawyer.
What happens if someone misuses my Creative Commons-licensed work?
A Creative Commons license terminates automatically if someone uses your work contrary to the license terms. This means that, if a person uses your work under a Creative Commons license and they, for example, fail to attribute your work in the manner you specified, then they no longer have the right to continue to use your work. This only applies in relation to the person in breach of the license; it does not apply generally to the other people who use your work under a Creative Commons license and comply with its terms.
You have a number of options as to how you can enforce this; you can consider contacting the person and asking them to rectify the situation and/or you can consider consulting a lawyer to act on your behalf. For information about how you may be able to locate a suitably qualified lawyer, please refer to this question and answer.
I don’t like the way a person has used my work in a derivative work or included it in a collective work; what can I do?
If you do not like the way that a person has made a derivative work or incorporated your work into a collective work, under the Creative Commons licenses, you may request removal of your name from the derivative work or the collective work.
In addition, the copyright laws in most jurisdictions around the world (with the notable exception of the US) grant creators “moral rights” which may provide you with some redress if a derivative work represents a “derogatory treatment” of your work. Moral rights give an original author the right to object to “derogatory treatment” of their work; “derogatory treatment” is typically defined as “distortion or mutilation” of the work or treatment, which is “prejudicial to the honor, or reputation of the author.” All Creative Commons licenses (with the exception of Canada) leave moral rights unaffected. This means that an original author may be able to take action against a derivative work that infringes the moral right that protects against derogatory treatment. Of course, not all derivative works that a creator does not like will be considered “derogatory.”
Questions for people thinking about using a Creative Commons-licensed work
Will Creative Commons give me permission to use a work?
The permission isn’t ours to give. Creative Commons simply makes available licenses and tools to enable creators and licensors to license their works on more flexible terms. By applying a Creative Commons license to a work, the creator or licensor has decided to clearly signal to members of the public, such as you, that you may use the work without having to ask for permission—provided that you use it consistent with the license terms.
Does Creative Commons determine what content is released under its licenses?
Creative Commons, as an organization, does not control how the licenses are used and does not check or verify whether a Creative Commons license has been correctly applied to a particular work. Creative Commons does not endorse or certify any use of its licenses.
Instead, Creative Commons provides the licenses as a tool that may be adopted (or not) by members of the creative community. Creative Commons does not determine whether the use of the licenses is appropriate for your situation or for a particular work.
What are the terms of a Creative Commons license?
The key terms of the core suite of Creative Commons licenses are: Attribution, NonCommercial, NoDerivatives and ShareAlike. These license elements are succinctly described as follows:
Attribution=you must attribute the author and/or licensor in the manner they require.
NonCommercial=you may not use the work in a manner primarily directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation.
NoDerivatives=you may only make verbatim copies of the work, you may not adapt or change it.
ShareAlike=you may only make derivative works if you license them under the same Creative Commons license terms.
For an overview of our licenses and links to the Commons Deed and Legal Code, check out this page. For the key details of our Sampling Licenses check this page.
So “NonCommercial” means that the work cannot be used commercially?
Not quite. The “NonCommercial” license option means that you do not receive the commercial rights via the Creative Commons license. You can always approach the licensor directly to see if they will separately license you the commercial rights.
What does the Creative Commons “Some Rights Reserved” button mean? What does a Creative Commons license do?
A Creative Commons license is a signal to you that you can use the work without having to seek out the individual creator or licensor and ask for permission—provided you use the work in the manner permitted by the Creative Commons license. The Commons Deed sets out the key terms governing your use of the work.
What happens if I want to make a different use of the work?
If you want to use a Creative Commons-licensed work in a manner that is not permitted under the terms of the Creative Commons license, you need to contact the creator and/or licensor and ask for their permission. If you use a Creative-Commons licensed work contrary to the terms of the Creative Commons license, your right to use the work terminates and you could be sued for infringement of copyright.
So I don’t have to pay to use Creative Commons-licensed works if I comply with the license terms?
As a general rule yes—Creative Commons licenses are made available under royalty-free licenses. In the case of Creative Commons-licensed works that are licensed for NonCommercial use only, the creator or licensor reserves the right to collect statutory royalties or royalties under compulsory licenses for commercial uses such as those collected for public performances; so, you may still have to pay a collecting society for such uses of Creative Commons licensed works. However, these are indirect payments, not payments to the licensor.
How do I use a Creative Commons-licensed work?
If you come across a work that says it is made available under a Creative Commons license, you are authorized by the licensor to use it consistent with those license terms. You should satisfy yourself that the scope of the license covers your intended uses. Since there are a number of versions of the Creative Commons licenses, you should read the particular license carefully to ensure that the license meets your needs. All Creative Commons licenses require that you attribute the author, licensor and/or any other parties specified by the author/licensor. To correctly use a Creative Commons licensed work, you must provide proper attribution. This is explained in the answer below.
To get an understanding of the key terms of the license, check out the Commons Deed for the license and/or review this page, which has links to the Commons Deed and basic explanations of all of our licenses.
Does using a Creative Commons-licensed work give me all the rights I need?
You should be aware that all of the licenses contain a disclaimer of warranties, so there is no assurance whatsoever that the licensor has all the necessary rights to permit reuse of the licensed work. The disclaimer means that the licensor is not guaranteeing anything about the work, including that she owns the copyright to it, or that she has cleared any uses of third-party content that her work may be based on or incorporate.
This is typical of so-called “open source” licenses, where works are made widely and freely available for reuse at no charge. The original version 1.0 of the Creative Commons licenses contained a warranty, but we ultimately concluded that, as with “open source” licenses, warranties and indemnities are best determined separately by private bargain, so that each licensor and licensee can determine the appropriate allocation of risk and reward for their unique situation. One option thus would be to use private contract to obtain a warranty and indemnification from the licensor, although it is likely that the licensor would charge for this benefit.
As a result of the warranty disclaimer, before using a Creative Commons licensed work, you should satisfy yourself that the person has all the necessary rights to make the work available under a Creative Commons license. You should know that if you are wrong, you could be liable for copyright infringement based on your use of the work.
You should learn about what rights need to be cleared and when a fair use or fair dealing defense may be available. It could be that the licensor is relying on the fair use or fair dealing doctrine, but depending on the circumstances, that legal defense may or may not actually protect her (or you). You should educate yourself about the various rights that may be implicated in a copyrighted work, because creative works often incorporate multiple elements such as, for example, underlying stories and characters, recorded sound and song lyrics. If the work contains recognizable third-party content, it may be advisable to independently verify that it has been authorized for reuse under a Creative Commons license.
The result of this is that you should always use your informed good judgment, and you may want to obtain legal advice.
How do I properly attribute a Creative Commons licensed work?
If you are using a work licensed under one of our core licenses (Attribution, Attribution-ShareAlike, Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike, Attribution-NonCommerical, Attribution-NoDerivatives, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (this is the same as the Music Sharing license)) or under our Developing Nations license, then the proper way of accrediting your use of a work when you making a verbatim use of it is: (1) to keep intact any copyright notices for the Work; (2) credit the author, licensor and/or other parties (such as a wiki or journal) in the manner they specify; (3) the title of the Work; and (4) the Uniform Resource Identifier for the work if specified by the author and/or licensor.
You also need to provide the Uniform Resource Locator for the Creative Commons license that applies to the work, together with each copy of the work that you make available.
If you are making a derivative use of a work licensed under one of our core licenses or under the Developing Nations license, in addition to the above, you need to you need to identify that your work is a derivative work, ie. “This is a Finnish translation of the [original work] by [author]” or “Screenplay based on [original work] by [author].”
If you are sampling a work licensed under one of our Sampling licenses you should credit derivative works you create using those samples by saying something along the lines of: “Remix of the [original work] by [author]” or “Inclusion of a portion of the [original work] by [author] in collage.”
What is a derivative work?
A derivative work is a work that is based on another work but is not an exact, verbatim copy. What this means exactly and comprehensively is the subject of many law journal articles and much debate and pontification. In general, a translation from one language to another or a film version of a book are examples of derivative works. Under Creative Commons’ core licenses, synching music in timed-relation with a moving image is considered to be a derivative work.
Under U.S. law, generally, changing the format of a work—ie. from print to digital—where the content of the work has not otherwise been changed, would also constitute a derivative work; however, the Creative Commons licenses allow the user to exercise the rights permitted under the license in any format or media. This means that, under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license, for example, you can copy the work from a digital file to a print file consistent with the terms of that license.
If I use a Creative Commons-licensed work with other works, do I have to Creative Commons license everything else as well?
With the exception of those of our licenses that contain the ShareAlike element, the Creative Commons licenses do not require everything else to be Creative Commons licensed as well. We specifically designed the Creative Commons licenses so that they would not turn all other works they were combined with into being Creative Commons-licensed. If you combine any work with a Creative Commons-licensed work that is licensed with a ShareAlike license provision, then, because of the way that the ShareAlike license element operates, the resultant work will need to be licensed under the same license as the original work.
If you include a Creative Commons licensed work in a “collective work” (ie. a collection of works in their exact original format, not adaptations), then you only need to continue to apply the Creative Commons license to that work (even if the work was licensed under a Creative Commons Share-Alike license provision). You do not need to apply it to the entire collection.
Can I combine two different Creative Commons licensed works? Can I combine a Creative Commons licensed work with another non-CC licensed work?
Generally yes; you can combine one Creative Commons licensed work with another Creative Commons licensed work or with another work.
The one big caveat is for Creative Commons licenses that contain the ShareAlike license element (ie. Attribution-ShareAlike, Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike). These licenses require derivative works (ie. the result of two combined works) to be licensed under the same license elements. So, you cannot, for example, combine an Attribution-ShareAlike license with an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. If you are combining a work licensed under a ShareAlike license condition, you need to make sure that you are happy and able to license the resulting work under the same license conditions as the original work.
I used part of a Creative Commons-licensed work, which Creative Commons license can I relicense my work under?
The chart below should give you some assistance in figuring out which Creative Commons license you can use to relicense a work. Some of our licenses just do not, as practical matter, work together.
The chart below shows blackened cells to indicate licenses that can be used without complication to relicense work licensed under license noted at beginning of each row. To see what license a work that incorporates works under multiple licenses can use, see which columns are filled in for all relevant rows. Thus, for example, if you are using work issued under an Attribution-NoDerivatives license, you may be able to relicense it under either another Attribution-NoDerivatives license or an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license.
The above chart only displays which licenses are, as a practical matter, incompatible. It is not a substitute for obtaining your own legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or represented as legal advice. As explained above, Creative Commons is not able to provide you with legal advice. You need to independently assess which Creative Commons license is suitable for your requirements and your obligations to upstream licensors.
I want to give users of my site the option to choose Creative Commons licensing; how do I do that?
You can directly integrate the Creative Commons license selection engine into your site. This can be useful if you have an application or website that allows people to contribute content and you want to give them the option to apply Creative Commons licenses to their works. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to integrate our license selection engine with a website. We also have a web services API for integration with any application.
Why did Creative Commons choose to use the RDF format for its metadata?
Creative Commons looked for the best way to express the intent behind the licenses in machine-readable form. We feel that our system provides the best of all possible worlds: RDF, XML, and even plain text-based tools can easily process our metadata files because we provide them with a structured format. But just as XML tools make it easier to process the information than text-based ones, RDF ones make it even easier -- so we encourage all of our developers to use RDF tools where possible. We're also working with the community to provide CC sample code, in many different languages, that shows how easy it is to take advantage of the RDF information. We're also open to providing converters from RDF to other formats. If you have such a tool or would like one, please send information about it to our metadata list.
How can I use Creative Commons metadata in my program?
You can use it in a variety of ways. A painting, writing, or drawing program could let its users know about their rights granted by the licensor of the file. File sharing software could highlight files with Creative Commons licenses and encourage users to download them. In fact, we see peer-to-peer file sharing software as an excellent distribution mechanism for Creative Commons works, especially large music, picture, and movie files that the authors might not have the bandwidth or tools necessary to distribute themselves. Search systems could allow users the choice of only searching for files with licenses that permit certain uses (such as searching for pictures of cats that you can include in your non-commercial collage). There are many ways to take advantage of this information and we hope the developer community will surprise us by coming up with others!
I'd prefer to use a PNG image instead of a GIF image or vice versa. What should I do?
We provide license buttons in both formats. Change, e.g., somerights20.gif to somerights20.png or vice versa....
Questions about using Creative Commons’ logo
Where can I get a high resolution version of the Creative Commons logos?
You can get high resolution versions of the Creative Commons logos and license buttons here. Creative Commons only authorizes the use of our logos, name and license buttons in accordance with our policies.
I want to print out some t-shirts & stickers with Creative Commons logos; how do I go about doing this?
We’re glad you are excited about Creative Commons and want to spread the message. We only authorize use of our logo, name and license buttons in accordance with our policies, ie. to linkback to a Creative Commons license and/or otherwise describe a Creative Commons license that applies to a work.
You can support Creative Commons and purchase t-shirts via our store. We are happy to send you stickers and other materials if you need them, just email firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, movies about Creative Commons are available for download here.
I want to incorporate the Creative Commons logos into my site or work, can I?
You are welcome to incorporate the Creative Commons logos into your site or work if you do so in accordance with our policies page. Basically, we only authorize use of the Creative Commons corporate logo (that is the name Creative Commons and the “CC” in a circle) to link back to our website; and our “Some Rights Reserved” and “No Rights Reserved” buttons as well as our license element buttons (ie. the Attribution license button, the NonCommercial license button etc.) to be used to link back to our respective licenses.
Can I change the Creative Commons logos so that they look better on my site or with my work?
Please don’t change our logo so that it works better with the look of your site or work. Our “Some Rights Reserved” and “No Rights Reserved” buttons need to be used consistently because they are our trademark and a core part of our licensing system. You can also use the license elements buttons that are in black and white to signal that your work or site is licensed under the relevant Creative Commons license; this is also explained at our policies page.
About Creative Commons
Is Creative Commons against copyright?
Not at all. Our licenses help you retain your copyright and manage your copyright in a more flexible, open way. In fact, our licenses rely upon copyright for their enforcement. The justification for intellectual property protection (under U.S. law, at least) is the "promot[ion of] the progress of science and the useful arts."
We want to promote science and the useful arts, too, and believe that helping creators or licensors fine-tune the exercise of their rights to suit their preferences helps do just that.
Is Creative Commons building a database of licensed content?
Absolutely not. We believe in the Net, not an information bank controlled by a single organization. We are building tools so that the semantic web can identify and sort licensed works in a distributed, decentralized manner. We are not in the business of collecting content, or building databases of content.
Now, to give you an idea of the sorts of uses that can be made of our licenses and metadata, we've provided some examples on our site for text, audio, images, video and educational works. It's by no means a comprehensive catalog of everything being done with Creative Commons licenses today, nor is it the beginnings of a database. They are simply illustrations of some works, in a variety of media, that have been Creative Commons licensed so far.
Will works that use Creative Commons licenses be in the "public domain"?
No, because the licensor does not give up all rights to his or her work
. The Creative Commons licenses are only copyright licenses that enable you to control how other people use your work.
If you want to put your work in the public domain -- the realm of creative material unfettered by copyright law – you can use our Public Domain Dedication. By dedicating your work to the public domain, you are effectively relinquishing all copyright interests you may otherwise have in the work. However, this waiver may not be valid outside of the US.
What is Creative Commons?
Structurally, Creative Commons consists of Creative Commons Corporation, a Massachusetts, US, US charitable corporation and Creative Commons International, a UK non-for-profit company limited by guarantee. Also working to promote the idea of Creative Commons are volunteer project leads in each of the jurisdictions to which Creative Commons licenses have been ported. Creative Commons International and the volunteer project leads are independent and separate entities although both work in collaboration to promote the adoption of Creative Commons licenses and tools.
The idea underlying Creative Commons is that some people may not want to exercise all of the intellectual property rights the law affords them. We believe there is an unmet demand for an easy yet reliable way to tell the world “Some rights reserved” or even “No rights reserved.” Many people have long since concluded that all-out copyright doesn't help them gain the exposure and widespread distribution they want. Many entrepreneurs and artists have come to prefer relying on innovative business models rather than full-fledged copyright to secure a return on their creative investment. Still others get fulfillment from contributing to and participating in an intellectual commons. For whatever reasons, it is clear that many citizens of the Internet want to share their work -- and the power to reuse, modify, and distribute their work -- with others on generous terms. Creative Commons intends to help people express this preference for sharing by offering the world a set of licenses on our Website, at no charge.
Who started Creative Commons?
Cyberlaw and intellectual property experts James Boyle, Michael Carroll, and Lawrence Lessig, MIT computer science professor Hal Abelson, lawyer-turned-documentary filmmaker-turned-cyberlaw expert Eric Saltzman, and public domain Web publisher Eric Eldred founded Creative Commons in 2001. Fellows and students at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School helped get the project off the ground and, for the first couple of years of its existence, Creative Commons was housed at and received generous support from Stanford Law School and the Center for Internet & Society.
What problem does Creative Commons intend to solve?
With the advent of the digital revolution and the Internet, it is suddenly possible to distribute works in a variety of formats of a high, oftentimes professional quality; to work works collaboratively across boundaries of time and space; and to create new, derivative or collective works—on a global level, in a decentralised manner, and at comparatively low cost.
This presents an opportunity for an enormous and unprecedented stimulation of creativity and production of knowledge. As more and more people are interconnected and communicating, it becomes easier to obtain exactly the content one needs or want and to complete tasks and solve problems by the cooperation this interconnection enables. The convergence of technologies and media also create multiple new possibilities for creating derivatives of existing works, eg. remixes and mashups.
Another notable aspect is that globalisation is not only happening on the corporate level, its effects can also be observed in the areas of science and education and in other sectors of society where new models of fruitful cooperation have appeared. The free encyclopedia Wikipedia and the free and open source software community are examples of these sociological and economic phenomena. The activities of many contributors to projects in these areas are not motivated by the desire to gain (immediate) financial benefit but by the desire to learn, to get recognition, and also to help others.
The downside of these exciting new developments and possibilities is that the new technologies are also being used to infringe copyright on a massive scale and that many consumers, in particular young people, have come to regard it as normal to disrespect the legal and legitimate claims of creators and producers of content to be paid for the use of their works. In turn, major right holders have reacted to this by a fourfold strategy: (a) by trying to prevent the deployment of technologies that can be put to infringing uses; (b) by developing tools that enable them to manage their rights with an amount of precision hitherto unknown and unthinkable: digital rights management and technological protection measures against unauthorised copying; (c) by successfully lobbying for support of these technological measures through legal restrictions; and, (d) by starting huge publicity campaigns designed to teach young people that they must keep their hands off copyrighted material - or else.
These responses are understandable. Our concern is that their combined effect will be to stifle the opportunities for digital technologies to be used widely to encourage creativity and for the problem-solving and collaboration discussed above. If creators and licensors have to negotiate not only complicated legal rules, but also burdensome technical barriers, many will either ignore the rules or not create.
Our alternative is to provide creators and licensors with a simple way to say what freedoms they want their creative work to carry. This in turn makes it easy to share, or build upon creative work. It makes it possible for creators and licensors to reserve some rights while releasing others. This, at its core, is our mission. Copyright gives authors certain rights. We want to make it simpler for authors to exercise those rights in ways others can understand.
Does it cost me anything to use the Creative Commons licenses & tools?
Nope. They're free.
Who funds Creative Commons?
Creative Commons was founded with a generous donation from the Center for the Public Domain and receives ongoing support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation and the Omidyar Network. We continue to seek donations from other sources, including foundations, individuals, and government grants. If you would like to support Creative Commons, feel free to do so at our support page.
Whom does Creative Commons serve or represent?
Creative Commons serves creators and users of creative works and the public interest that benefits from greater collaboration using creative materials. We help people who want to license their work on generous terms, people who want to make creative uses of those works, and people who benefit from this symbiosis. We hope that teachers, scholars, scientists, writers, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, graphic designers, Web hobbyists -- as well as listeners, readers, and viewers -- gain from the use of our tools.
Where is Creative Commons based?
Creative Commons Corporation is a Massachusetts corporation that draws on the work of geographically distributed staff and volunteers. Our main offices are in San Francisco, US and London, United Kingdom.
Does Creative Commons host or own any content?
Our primary mission is to help you license your work, offer you tools to more easily publish your works, and point to examples of CC-licensed content from our featured works. We also offer ways for users to find licensed works and easily understand their license terms.
We do, however, also host content on its ccMixter site.
Is Creative Commons involved in digital rights management (DRM)?
No. We are in the business of digital rights expression, not management. Our tools make it easy to say what rights an author is reserving. But we do not provide tools for enforcing the rights the author reserves. Digital rights management (or “DRM”) does. In addition to digitally expressing rights, a DRM system provides technology for enforcing those rights.
Why don’t we use technology to enforce rights? There are too many reasons to describe here. Perhaps the most familiar is the fact that technology cannot protect freedoms such as “fair use.” Put differently, “fair use” can’t be coded. But more importantly, we believe, technological enforcement burdens unplanned creative reuse of creative work. We want to encourage such use. And we, along with many others, are concerned that the ecology for creativity will be stifled by the pervasive use of technology to “manage” rights.
Copyrights should be respected, no doubt. But we prefer they be respected the old fashioned way — by people acting to respect the freedoms, and limits, chosen by the author and enforced by the law.
What happens if someone tries to protect a CC-licensed work with digital rights management (DRM) tools?
If a person uses DRM tools to restrict any of the rights granted in the license, that person violates the license. All of our licenses prohibit licensees from "distributing the Work with any technological measures that control access or use of the Work in a manner inconsistent with the terms of this License Agreement."
I love what Creative Commons does. How can I help?
We would be very grateful for your help. You are welcome to support Creative Commons Corporation by making a donation at our Support page. In exchange for your donation, you'll receive a variety of items, depending on level. Donations and shipping addresses are handled by Paypal.
You can also give us feedback directly at email@example.com. Alternately, you can participate in our email discussion lists...
Except where otherwise noted, this site islicensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License...