Copyright Principles – How To Protect Your Idea?

Creativity is an inevitable part of human nature. And the spectrum of bringing a vision, inspiration, design, or a big creative idea through can be very different. Men are always eager to create something from their own original ideas. But there are others who would rather copy the ideas of others or build their work around the work of others. As a result, has been established recognition of copyrights. In addition, in the developing world, that has a law protecting citizens, their freedom and property become important to protect the ideas of citizens. So what is copyright and copyright principles?

Basic Copyright Principles

Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to make copies of creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, educational, or musical form.

Copyright principles are based on protection of the expression in a work of authorship against copying. What are the objects of copyrighting which are protected by Ukrainian law

Objects of copyright shall be works in the domain of science, literature, and art, namely:

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1) literary written works of fiction, journalistic, scientific, technical or other nature (books, brochures, articles, etc.);
2) speeches, lectures, orations, sermons, and other oral works;
3) computer software;
4) databases;
5) musical works with or without lyrics;
6) dramatic, musical drama works, pantomimes, choreographic and other works created for stage presentation and staging versions thereof;
7) audiovisual works;
8) works of fine art;
9) works of architecture, city construction, garden, and park design;
10) photographic works, including works made by means analogous to photography;

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11) works of applied art, including works of decorative weaving, ceramics, carving, art glass, casting, jewelry, etc;
12) illustrations, maps, layouts, drawings, sketches, and plastic works relating to geography, geology, topography, engineering, architecture and other spheres of activity;
13) stage interpretations of the works specified in clause 1 of this part. And folklore versions that can be presented on stage;
14) derivative works;
15) collections of works, collections of folklore versions, encyclopedias and anthologies, collections of regular data, and other composite works, provided that they result from creative work involving selection. And coordination or arrangement of the contents without prejudice to copyright covering the integrated works, which are included thereto as the integrated parts;
16) texts of translations for dubbing, soundtracking and adding subtitles in Ukrainian and other languages to foreign audiovisual works;
17) other works.

The main requirement is that these works have an individual character.

If you continue to read this article afterward I can count on your interest. By the way, this article is also copyright, try to determine which category it belongs to☺.

Use of objects of copyrighting protection

As I have dealt with legal practice I surely come across the questions like: “I found this picture, can I freely use it?”.  Remember, that photographic works benefit from copyright protection. Every picture has an author, that is, the person who created that object. In view of this, the use of such an object without the permission of the author/attorney is already a violation of copyright. In most cases, we have to define the object, who is the author, and how we want to use it. Yes, in practice the rights to the copyright object may belong to another person than the one who created it. 

The list of free use of objects with copyright protection

The Law* provides an exhaustive list of free use of objects with copyright protection. That means they can be used without the author’s consent. But with an indication of the name of the author whose work is used and source of borrowing, in particular:

*the Law of Ukraine “Copyright and Related Rights”
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1) the use of quotations (short excerpts) from published works in the amount justified by the purpose. Including quotations of articles from newspapers and magazines in the form of press reviews, if it is due to critical, polemical, scientific, or informational nature of the work to which citations are included. Free use of quotations in the form of short excerpts from speeches and works included in the phonogram (videogram) or broadcast program;

2) the use of literary and artistic creations to the extent justified by the intended purpose, as illustrations in publications, broadcasts, sound recordings or videos of an educational nature;

3) fecundity in the press, public performance or public announcement of articles previously published in newspapers or magazines on current economic, political, religious and social issues, or publicly announced works of the same nature. In cases where there are rights to such reproduction, public announcement or other public works, the message is not specifically prohibited by the author;

4) Broadcast for the purpose of coverage of current events by means of photography or cinematography, public announcement or other public announcement of the works seen or heard during such events, in a volume justified by the informational purpose;

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5) reproduction in catalogs of works exhibited at public exhibitions, auctions, fairs or collections to cover these events, without the use of these catalogs for commercial purposes;

6) publication and reproduction of published works in relief-dot font for the blind and audio works (audio documents, audiobooks) with a special digital format for the blind, visually impaired and people with dyslexia, markings for easy navigation for distribution to visually impaired people, as well as replenishment of library funds of specialized libraries, libraries of educational institutions and rehabilitation centers for people with disabilities and children with visual impairments, public organizations, enterprises, institutions and organizations employing persons with disabilities in view except direct or indirect use of these works for commercial purposes;

7) reproduction of works for judicial and administrative proceedings to an extent justified for this purpose;

8) public performance of musical works during official and religious ceremonies, as well as funerals to an extent justified by the nature of such ceremonies;

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9) reproduction for informational purposes in newspapers and other periodicals, broadcasting or other public announcement of publicly delivered speeches, appeals, reports and other similar works to an extent justified by the stated purpose;

9-1) the use of lawfully published literary, artistic, musical and other works to create on their basis another work in the genre of literary, musical or other parody, potpourri or caricature;

10) reproduction of the work for the purposes and under the conditions provided for in Articles and sub articles of the Law;

11) adaptation of existing and created audiovisual works for the blind, visually impaired and people with dyslexia through the use of audio description (typhlocommentation).

What is it here useful for you? The quotation mark indeed.

It allows the use of short excerpts from published works (others) in the amount justified by the purpose, and due to the informative nature of the work (yours).

What does this mean? Let me explain.

For example, you shot an event highlighting video for your blog post. You want to underline that a famous person has lost weight and confirm this by adding a photo. That is, you quote a photo for informational purposes, a short passage. To secure compliance with the law, the photo’s author’s name and the source of the borrowing must be indicated. As a result, you should focus on the following:

  • We indicate the name of the author (ie the photographer).
  • We indicate the source of the borrowing, i.e. the website where we found this photo. But it has to be a primary source. People spread information quickly and finding it takes time.
  • This method of free use is not universal. Therefore, you have to be careful, and consult a lawyer to avoid the sanctions.
  • We can make an authorship caption in final captions. The law does not set requirements for the moment and/or procedure of indicating.

Is it possible to defend the idea?

Above all, it is necessary to make a remark that the protected work is expressed in an objective form. That means that ideas are not protected, according to the Law.

So the best way to protect an idea is to implement it.
That is, to create an object of copyrighting protection.

How do I comply with copyright when creating video content?

Given the number of copyrights, you can understand that the nuances of copyright can be talked about for a long time. In this case I focused on the audiovisual creation.

Audiovisual creation is fixed on a certain material carrier (film, magnetic film or magnetic disk, CD, etc.) in the form of a series of consecutive frames (images) or analog or discrete signals that reflect (encode) moving images (with or without sound accompaniment), and the perception of which is possible only through a particular type of screen (movie screen, television screen, etc.), on which moving images are visually displayed using certain technical means. Types of audiovisual creations are films, TV films, videos, slides, etc., which can be game, animation (cartoon), non-game or other.

That is to say, these are movies, TV series, videos, commercials, etc.

Consequently, the legislative practice of different countries may differ from each other in terms of who exactly from the point of view of the legislator is the author of the audiovisual work.

In Ukraine it is:

a) director-producer;
b) the author of the script and (or) texts, dialogues;
c) the author of music specially created for an audiovisual creation with or without text;
d) production artist;
e) production operator.

As a result, each of these individuals makes a creative contribution to the creation of the final result.

Sometimes one person performs several functions. Sometimes there are cases that do not have any of these functions. Well, for example, the composer was not involved, but a ready-made musical composition was bought.

In order to protect the results of your work and comply with copyright, it is necessary to sign an agreement with all persons involved and ensure the legality of the use of all materials.

e) production operator.

What is the role of a lawyer in creating video content?

The main task of the lawyer in this process is to draw up contracts with all involved persons and to draw up the transfer of intellectual property rights. They have to take into account the peculiarities of the filming process and the established agreements of the parties.
Just in case, a lawyer is also a creative profession, especially when a lawyer works with creative processes☺. In my opinion, it is very cool to be an In-house lawyer and be familiar with the business processes. This knowledge and understanding really help to understand and anticipate potential risks, protect the interests and goals of the company.

Interesting details from the film world

Separately, I want to note that in addition to the authors of the audiovisual creations mentioned above, the make-up artist and costume designer deserve special attention.

The costume designer faces a difficult task, to create the appropriate mood, to convey the character, to recreate the time in which the film takes place. A striking example of such work is the Ukrainian TV series “Serfdom”, the feature film “Devoted”. Just look at those costumes!

Makeup artists create hairstyles, makeup. Remember, the main character in the movie “Gate” has a really complicated make-up. However, the viewer does not even think “Why does the hero wear this dress?”, “Why such a hairstyle?”, etc.

Well, I wanted to save the actors for dessert. Although the result of their creative work is not an object of copyright. It is an object of related rights, but this is a separate topic for the article… ☺

Next time you watch a movie or TV series, pay attention to the setting, decor, props, clothes, hairstyles…. It’s all creativity and the result of great teamwork, including a lawyer.

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