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Several international treaties set standards that all participating countries must follow when adopting or changing their copyright laws. However, within those limits, each nation sets its own laws. Those laws determine who can acquire a copyright, what rights the copyright holder enjoys, and how long the copyright lasts. As a result, copyright law varies significantly from one country to another.

In all countries, copyright law is shaped in part by legislatures, which adopt and often modify copyright statutes, and courts, which adjust and clarify the provisions of the statutes when applying them to particular cases. In so-called common law countries, courts play somewhat more important roles than they do in so-called civil law countries, but the difference is not large. In some countries, religious legal systems also affect copyright rules. A discussion of the three main types of legal system, as well as lists of the legal systems of different countries may be found here .

No matter what the legal system, however, copyright law is constantly chanigng to meet new creative, technological, and social challenges. Often those changes are driven by interest groups that seek to benefit their members. The library community has often played important roles in the shaping of copyright law in the past -- and could play even more important roles in the future.

Copyright law generally covers all “original works of authorship.” Such original works come in many forms. For example, in almost all countries, all of the following are protected by copyright law:

  • literary works (books, articles, letters, etc.);
  • musical works;
  • dramatic works (operas, plays);
  • graphic arts (photographs, sculptures, paintings, etc.);
  • motion pictures and audiovisual works (movies, videos, television programs, etc.);
  • architectural works; and
  • computer software.

In some countries, sound recordings are also covered by copyright law. In other countries, sound recordings are protected by a separate, related set of rules known as “neighboring rights.” In some countries, government works -- such as maps, official reports, and judicial opinions -- are protected by copyright law; in others, they are considered part of the public domain.

It is important to remember that copyright never applies to ideas or facts . It only covers “ original expression ” -- in other words, the distinctive way in which ideas are conveyed. So, for example, the information contained in a science textbook is not protected by copyright law. You are free, after reading a textbook, to write and publish a new book conveying the same information in different words. Similarly, you are free, after reading a work of history, to write a novel incorporating the historical facts.

A few countries (most notably, the United States) require the original expression to be fixed in a tangible medium , like paper or a digital recording format, in order to be protected by copyright law. In those countries, improvisational performances -- for example, of jazz or dance -- are not protected unless their authors record them.

Questions & Answers

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
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
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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