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This module will teach you about the rights of a copyright holder and about the exceptions to and limitations on those rights.

Module 4: rights, exceptions, and limitations

Learning objective

This module will teach you about the rights of a copyright holder and about the exceptions to and limitations on those rights.

Case study

Maria, Angela's aunt, is a collector of sheet music. Many of the documents in her collection are handwritten; some are unique. She has just decided to donate the entire collection to the university library. Angela meets with Nadia to discuss how the library might best make use of the collection. In particular, Angela asks Nadia to make digital copies of all of the compositions in Maria's collection and to make those copies available to the world on the library's servers.


Economic rights

Rights relating to reproduction and distribution of a work

The heart of copyright law is the right to make copies of a protected work. This is called the  "right of reproduction."  The copyright holder has the exclusive right to make or authorize such copies. Creating a copy without the authorization of the holder infringes upon the copyright, unless permitted by an exception to or limitation on the reproduction right. As we saw in  Module 2: The International Framework , the right of reproduction is widely acknowledged by international agreements. As we will soon discuss, however, those same agreements also empower member countries to create exceptions and limitations to this (and other) rights. The copyright statutes of virtually all countries recognize the right of reproduction.

What does "reproduction" mean? Most obviously, it includes making a copy in the literal sense -- for example, by photocopying a book or article. It also includes converting a copyrighted work into a new format -- such as using a tape recorder to copy a vinyl album. Less obviously, it includes making a new work that is "substantially similar" to an existing work, while having that existing work in mind. So, for example, an art student who stands in front of a painting and paints a faithful replica of it would violate the original painter's right of reproduction (unless the student could invoke one of the exceptions or limitations discussed previously). As one might imagine, the question of how close one work must be to another to be "substantially similar" is highly controversial and is often litigated.

Closely related to the right of reproduction is the  right of adaptation , which provides copyright holders with the right to adapt a copyrighted work from one form of expression to another, or to authorize another to do so. Examples of adaptations include transforming a book into a movie or a song into a musical. The right of adaptation is also found in virtually all copyright systems. For example,  Article 12 of the Berne Convention  requires member countries to grant authors the right to authorize “adaptations, arrangements, and other alterations of” copyrighted works. The right of adaptation also encompasses the right to translate a work into other languages.  Article 8 of the Berne Convention  requires member countries to recognize this right of translation. In some legal systems, the right of adaptation is expressed as the right to make “derivative works,” which use the original work as a starting point but are not direct copies of the original work.

Questions & Answers

I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Copyright for librarians. OpenStax CNX. May 14, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10698/1.2
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