What is Copyright?
In copyright, the Intellectual Property Code (IPC) stipulates that “the author of a work of the mind enjoys on this work, by the mere fact of its creation, and intangible property right exclusive and enforceable against all.”
Copyright is a right derived from property rights. The protection that it puts in place (also called literary and artistic property) relates to the work of the mind, from its creation until 70 years after the death of its author. This right applies to both the real world and the digital world.
This right should not be confused with industrial property rights, which include in particular, the law of patents, trademarks, designs, and models. Contrary to these rights, it is not necessary to carry out any specific administrative formality to obtain copyright protection: the very fact of its existence protects the work.
European directive of May 22, 2001, on copyright in the information society; DADVSI law (Copyright and Neighboring Rights in the Information Society) of August 1, 2006; HADOPI 2 law (High Authority for the Distribution of Works and Protection of Internet Rights) of October 28, 2009
What are the components?
The author of a work of mind has two types of prerogatives: moral rights and economic rights.
Moral rights are intended to protect the personality of the author expressed through his work:
The power of disclosure:
The author has a right to the circulation of his work. Only the author decides when and how it should be disclosed (or not disclosed) to the public.
The right of authorship:
This right allows the author to require the mention of his name during each presentation of his work.
The right to respect for the work: the author has the right to respect for his work. Therefore, this right allows the author to oppose any modification likely to distort his work.
The right to repent and withdraw: the author has the possibility of exercising a right of withdrawal (he can remove the work from circulation). Likewise, he has the option of using a power of repentance (he can modify his creation).
A moral right is perpetual:
Subsists as long as the personality of the author is expressed in the work. It is inalienable: the author cannot transfer it to a third party. It is imprescriptible: the author does not lose it by non-use.
The economic rights allow the author to authorize the different modes of use of his work and to receive remuneration.
The right of representation:
The author can also authorize the representation of his work to the public. This right is transferable against remuneration.
The right of reproduction:
The author has an exclusive right to exploit his work in any form whatsoever and to derive financial profit from it. However, he may authorize the copy of his work on a medium by any process (paper medium, digital medium, etc.). This right is transferable against remuneration.
The resale right:
This valid concerns graphic and plastic works. The author receives 3% of the resale price of his work if this resale takes place at public auction or a merchant.
The right of destination: the author has the right to impose the goal he had planned for his work.
These rights are valid throughout the life of the author and 70 years later for his assigns (his heirs).
How Copyright Protection Is Done?
In the digital world, there are many violations of the moral and property rights of the author. Therefore the work can be distributed on the Internet without the agreement of its author and without mentioning his name. She can suffer “material” attacks (mutilation, modification) or “spiritual” attacks.
Technically, DRMS (Digital Rights Management Systems) is copyright defences. Therefore, DRMs identify the user of the work and ensure compliance with user licenses. Bypassing and removing DRMs is an offence. However, this technical protection is controversial. Many digital media publishers have given up on it. Therefore, it poses a danger to the privacy of users and makes it challenging to reconcile copyright with the right of the owner of the medium.
Legally, the infringement action and the so-called “Hadopi 2” law protect the author against infringements of his rights.
Action for counterfeiting:
Any use of a work without the authorization of its author constitutes a crime of forgery. Therefore, forgery is defined as an infringement of the rights of reproduction and representation of a job without the consent of the author. Copyright infringement engages the criminal and civil liability of the infringer. The criminal sanctions are prison terms (3 years) and fines (300,000 euros). However, civil penalties are the reparation and the cessation of the act of counterfeiting.