chapter  7
13 Pages

Multimedia, copyright, and patents

In the US a copyright subsists in an ‘original work of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression’ (US Copyright Act 1976), extending for the life of the author, usually plus fifty years, the same term as in the UK. Items subject to copyright include the following:

Text Exclusive rights Graphics Copyright when fixed in a medium Source and object code Usually covered by program’s copyright Composer’s music Recording company, and musician rights over a

recorded program Film Every frame copyright

Areas of abuse for a number of products include the following:

Books Photocopying, translating, reprinting Journals Photocopying Computer programs Copying, cloning, translating

Machine-readable activities Copying of citation records, abstracts, data, full text articles, CD-ROM data and software copying

Cassettes Duplication for sale Trademarks and patents Counterfeiting, copying

Two documents proposing reforms were published in the UK-the Whitford Report (Anon. 1977) and the 1981 Green Paper (Anon. 1981). Whitford was in favour of blanket licensing for photocopying, whereby an organization like the US Copyright Clearance Centre (CCC) would collect royalties and distribute the proceeds to publishers with no such exceptions as are now provided for research purposes. But the Green Paper proposed that the exceptions should be retained ‘with some tightening to control abuse’. Neither the British Library nor the publishers were happy with the Green Paper, the publishers considering that the approach to photocopying was inconclusive.