Copyright Poll

Copyright Poll

Why Copyright

Copyright is important for 4 main reasons:

1.  You can make money from it
2.  It protects your reputation
3.  It creates an asset
4.  It can create a legacy

1. Making Money
There are essentially three ways to make money from copyright:

  1. selling the tangible goods  ie a book, a CD etc
  2. licensing the copyright rights associated with your work
  3. sue for infringement

A book, CD, DVD , a music score, etc all can be sold (and are) for money.  So, the creative efforts you do are rewarded by copyright.

Another form of revenue is from a special type of contract called a licence.  A licence is an agreement or contract where you provide the right for another person (the licensee) to do certain things with your copyright works in return for money (usually).

Now, there are a very wide range of licenses, which can do a variety of things but essentially, why copyright is important is that it grants you rights over your works and you can licence these rights in return for money.

You can also receive monies from suing another party for damages if they have infringed your copyright.  This applies if you register your copyright within 3 months of creating it or before the copyright infringement by the other person.  And if you do register it, then you are able to claim statutory damages & attorney fees, even if you haven't made any money from your copyright work yet.

2.  Copyright protects your reputation
Included in copyright is the concept of moral rights.  That is, the right to have your contribution (you efforts) properly attributed (to you) and not to others. Copyright law  precludes "derivative use" of copyright material, so people cannot develop new material based on copyrighted work without your permission, thereby providing a means to protect your reputation.

3.  Copyright - as an asset
Accounting standards, including international accounting standards recognise copyright as an asset.
In 2001, the United States Financial Accounting Standards Board, (FASB) unanimously approved the issuance of Statements of Financial Accounting Standards No. 141 Business Combinations and No. 142 Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.   The effect of these two standards it to recognise copyright as an intangible asset separable from the accounting treatment of goodwill. 

4.  Copyright as a legacy
The combination of the accounting treatment of copyright as an intangible asset and the fact that copyright can last for over 70 years means that it can be passed on as a part of your estate to your heirs (or to whomever you want to pass it on to).

In summary, why copyright is important is that it enables to you to generate income, it creates an asset, and it protects your reputation.



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