Copyright is a legal term describing rights given to creators of a broad range of literary and artistic works. It is a bundle of rights given to the author of works to make sure that only he can use and reproduce what he has created for his own purposes. It would enable him to control the commercial exploitation of his works.
The works covered by copyright includes:
- literary works– such as novels, poems, computer programs, newspaper
- dramatic works– such as plays or choreography
- musical works– such as music
- artistic works– such as sculpture, architecture, maps, technical drawings, paintings, photographs, wedding dais and so on.
Related Rights is a term that is associated with copyrighted works and provide similar rights. Works covered under related rights are:
- sound recordings
- cable programs
- published editions.
Copyright and related rights protection is obtained automatically without any need for registration or other formalities. Unlike other types of intellectual property such as trademark, patent or industrial designs where these types of intellectual property must be registered for protection, copyright and related rights are unique where, the moment you create a work, it is automatically protected. Therefore, everything that you write (or draw or paint or whatever) regardless of whether it is an email, a recording, an image, a thesis, a web page, or anything else, it is automatically copyright protected. Not only that, works created in Brunei Darussalam will have protection in other countries who are a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) or the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as the Berne Convention. This would mean that your copyright or related rights is already protected in most countries without having to ‘register’ or go to those countries).
Brunei Darussalam is a party to both the WTO, Berne Convention, WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT).
Importance of © Symbol
The use of the © indicates an assertion of copyright. The symbol © is usually followed by the name of the copyright owner plus the year when copies of the work were first made available. Example: © Brunei Intellectual Property Office 2020. Not using the © symbol does not imply a waiver or loss of copyright. It may, however, be a relevant fact in infringement proceedings.
Duration of Protection
The copyright protection has a time limit of 50 years. So copyright protection will start the minute that you created the work plus 50 years after your death i.e. life plus 50 years.
Copyright protection also includes moral rights which involve the right to claim authorship of a work, and the right to oppose changes to it that could harm the creator’s reputation.
Copyright Materials Must Be Used with Permission
Ask permission directly with the copyright owner for a licence to use or copy copyright material or through agencies or administrative bodies that licence certain uses on behalf of their members (copyright owners).
Copyright materials can be used without permission but only in specific instances or fair dealing. Fair dealing is when a fair and reasonable portion of the work is copied for research/ private study, criticism/review and, report current affairs.