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Who Is, And Who Should Be, The Principle Beneficiary Of English Copyright Law: Authors And Performers, Those Involved In The Commercial Exploitation Of Copyright Works, Or The General Public?

2557 words - 10 pages

Who is, and who should be, the principle beneficiary of English copyright law: authors and performers, those involved in the commercial exploitation of copyright works, or the general public?The purpose of copyright is to allow creators to gain economic rewards for their efforts and so encourage future creativity and the development of new material which benefits us all .IntroductionIn answering this question, I will first examine the current position of English copyright law in how it benefits exploiters, authors and performers, and those involved in the commercial exploitation of copyright works. Then I will argue that author is, and should be, the principle beneficiary of English copyright law.In this essay, I will use the term "publishers" as a general term meaning those organisations and companies involving in commercial exploitation of copyright work, such as publishers and record companies. Authors, unless that area presents a distinction between the two, may mean both authors and performers. Any reference to "copyright law" should be regarded as such law of England.How the law benefits exploiters?It is sometimes thought that English copyright law is primarily commercial in nature. Traditionally copyright laws in England, contrary to those in the continental systems, put emphasis in the economic rights of the copyright owners. Only recently moral rights are introduced in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) 1988 .As its nature, economic rights are directly beneficial to exploiters. Economic rights include a bundle of rights that are enjoyed by copyright owners. The CDPA gives copyright owners exclusive rights to do "restricted acts" , and they have the right to sue those who do such restricted acts without their consent (infringers) . These restricted acts included basically all the commercially profitable acts, like public performance and renting or lending to the public ; and also acts that are essential to bringing the product to the market, or value-adding to it, like copying and adapting . Virtually such restricted act created exclusive, monopolistic rights for the copyright owners to exploit the market: only copyright owners and those who are authorised by them (eg. licensees) can make profit from the copyright work.Such monopolistic rights on the one hand give the exploiter a advantageous market position, and on the other hand protect them from the high risk of producing intellectual property items.How the law benefits authors and performers?While granting the rights of publishers, authors and performers are indirectly benefited. For one, they are the ultimate beneficiary of the commercial exploitation. When their works are commercially exploited, they either get a share of the profits in the form of royalties, or received a fixed-sum of reward if the copyrights of their works are thought to have commercial value in the first place. For another, when their works are put into the market, they may have other benefits, like...

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