By Candace Westby, TM Examiner
Copyright protection is automatic when you create an original work such as sound and music record-ings; films; when you write a book or poem; or when you develop new software.
Usually, the original creator of a work owns its copyright. However, if you have produced the work as an employee, under the normal course of your employment, the copyright will belong to your employer.
You also should note that when you commission and agree to pay for a work, such as a photograph or a painting, the copyright will belong to the person commissioned.
The duration of copyright protec-tion depends on the type of work produced.
• Written, dramatic, musical and artistic work: 70 years after the author’s death
• Sound and music recording: 70 years from its publication date
• Films: 70 years after the death of the director, screenplay author and composer
• Broadcast: 50 years from its first broadcast date
• Layouts of published editions of written, dramatic or musical works: 25 years from its first publication date
Copyright protection prevents oth-ers from:
• making an adaption of your work (including translating);
• distributing copies of your work without your permission;
• making copies of your work;
• performing, broadcasting, or playing your work in public;
• putting it on the internet; and
• lending copies of your work.
These are known as ‘economic rights’.
Copyright owners also have ‘moral rights’. Moral rights are person-al rights relating to the integrity of a work, and they cannot be sold or given away.
A creator keeps his or her moral rights even when they have given up copyrights in their work.
Moral rights include the right to:
• be identified as the author of your work;
• object to how the work is pre-sented (for example, if you think it’s ‘derogatory’ or damaging to you or your reputation); and to
• object to changes made to your work.
A person who has licensed a copy-right-protected work has the same rights and remedies as the copyright owner and should seek legal advice for further details.
As producers and users of intellectu-al property, it is important that we keep aware of our rights and the rights of others, as we get creating, Cayman!