Life Got You Hiding In a Rabbit Hole?
Although we all have an understanding of what law is, and generally why it's appropriate that it should be in place to serve and regulate our conduct in society, we seldom think of what law actually means in an everyday context. What is law for the average Joe in the street? How does law impact on our lives from day to day? Indeed, is the law a distant concept with which we find it hard to relate? In this article we will look at some of the fundamental ways law operates in society, in addition to the nature of the law as we know it.
For some people, they feel as though the law is there merely to protect their interests, and that they have no need for daily interaction. However, they assume that if the day comes where their behaviour is called into question, the law will operate, the course of justice will be run, and the will of the people will be fulfilled. This is perhaps a naïve interpretation of the function of law, and indeed the way it operates in our lives throughout the day. For instance, at the top level we have the constitution, establishing parameters within which the government can and cannot act to protect the citizens of our nation. That has an overwhelming effect on the way in which our government and indeed our country is run, which has a knock on effect on everything we do throughout the day and how we do it. Even at a local level, the law interacts with the services we are provided, the jobs we work and pretty much everything to do with the lives we lead. A distant concept? I don't think so.
Copyright is a legal fiction designed to protect the works of artists, inventors and innovators. In essence, it is a legal bar, allowing exclusivity for those who create works in the form of an intangible asset which can be sold or relinquished, and which expires upon a certain period of time. With the growth of the internet, and the creation of more and more content, the question of copyright is becoming increasingly more relevant, and one which more and more webmasters are considering to protect their own interests. Additionally, with the rise of the freelancer market, the issue of copyright is becoming a heated topic of debate for both buyers and sellers at every stage in the production chain, and the effects of not having the relevant rights could be potentially catastrophic. In this article, we'll look at what exactly copyright is, and how it relates to the internet in content creation.
Copyright is an artificial concept that gives the creator of a work, or the person he sells the right to, the legal right to use or modify in whole or in part, and to call their own. It has a different meaning in most jurisdictions, however the basic principle is the same: the creator owns the original copyright to the work in question, and has the freedom to pass this on at will, usually in consideration for money. Where a creator is working on commission, copyright is designed to act as a lien in his favour, meaning that if he creates and passes on but does not receive payment, he can withhold copyright and sue for breach where applicable. Of course, he would also have remedies under the ordinary law of contract, but the grasp of copyright is a very powerful tool, which can even be used against the third party buyer from the original commissioner.
Copyright is designed as a tool to cover what is known as intellectual property. Committing intellectual thoughts and ideas to paper, or making them tangible is usually sufficient to give rise to the copyright protection, which usually lasts for a number of decades in preventing others from steeling ideas. This is primarily designed to encourage forward thinking and art, and can be a vital tool in protecting the financial interests of those responsible for some of the world's most vital progressions. Consider the inventors of the seatbelt, Volvo. Volvo could have used their copyright to prevent other manufacturers from installing seat belts, and this would have been sufficient to protect any other manufacturer from doing so. Of course they waived their rights for the safety of the general public, which is also a possible consideration for the creator of something new and innovative.