AW: Re-Copyright laws in different countries.

Cord Wiljes cord at
Wed Jan 5 10:43:11 CET 2005

A lot of useful information on copyright laws can be found on the
wikipedia site:

Some excerpts of interest to our current discussion:

Copyrights do not protect ideas or facts, however, but only the
particular expression of an idea. A copyright on a Mickey Mouse cartoon,
for example, would not prevent others from creating artistic works about
talking mice, but only limit their rights to distribute the original
Disney's cartoon and their ability to create derivative works copying
that particular talking mouse too closely.


copyright (and patent) protection is set for a limited,
statutorily-defined number of years, during which the copyright owner
does not actually have to make use of his work in order to keep others
from doing so. After the term is up, the copyrighted work enters the
public domain and is available for anyone to freely use


Copyright also does not prohibit all forms of copying. In the United
States, the fair use doctrine, codified as 17 U.S.C. Section 107, allows
copying and distribution. The statute does not clearly define fair use,
but rather gives four non-exclusive factors to consider in a fair use


The original owner of the copyright may be the employer of the actual
author rather than the author himself if the work is a "work for hire".


The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works,
adopted at Berne in 1886, first established the recognition of
copyrights between sovereign nations. It was developed at the
instigation of Victor Hugo. 


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