Copyright is the legal term which describes the rights given to authors/creators of certain categories of work. Copyright protection extends to the following works:

  • Sound recordings, films
  • Broadcasts, cable programmes
  • The typographical arrangement of published editions
  • Computer programmes

The owner of copyright is the author, meaning the person who creates the work. However, as copyright is a form of property, the right may be transferred to someone else, for example, to a publisher. Copyright is a property right and the owner of the work can control the use of the work, subject to certain exceptions. The owner has the exclusive right to prohibit or authorise others to undertake the following:

  • Copy the work
  • Perform the work
  • Make the work available to the public through broadcasting or recordings
  • Make an adaptation of the work

Copyright takes effect as soon as the work is put on paper, film, or other fixed medium such as CD-ROM, DVD, Internet, etc. No protection is provided for ideas while the ideas are in a person’s mind; copyright law protects the form of expression of ideas, not the ideas themselves.