What is copyright?

The term “copyright” (or sometimes “author’s rights”) refers to rights in relation to original artistic and literary works such as novels, writing, music, paintings and sculptures, films and technology-based works such as computer programs and electronic databases. It protects the particular form of expressing an idea: it does not protect the idea or cultural expression itself.  This distinction between the idea and the protected tangible expression is often problematic for Indigenous, traditional and local communities because it provides protection for the document and documented form, not the oral expression from which the documented form captures.

Copyright protection comes into existence automatically upon the creation by the ‘author’ of an original work and the author is not required to register his or her copyright. The author of a work, the initial copyright owner, has a bundle of “exclusive rights” to do certain restricted acts in relation to his work. These may include: copying the work; publishing, issuing or selling copies of the work to the public; performing the work in public; playing the work in public; showing the work in public; broadcasting the work or including the work in a cable program service or digital media; making an adaptation of the work or doing any of the above activities in relation to an adaptation; and authorizing any other person to do any of the restricted activities listed above.

In the United States (title 17, U.S.Code) copyright is offered to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

  • reproduce the work in copies or phono-records;
  • prepare derivative works based upon the work;
  • distribute copies or phono-records of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
  • perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audio visual works;
  • display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural  works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audio visual work;
  • perform the work publicly (in the case of sound recordings*) by means of a digital audio transmission.

In addition, certain authors of works of visual art have the rights of attribution and integrity as described in section 106A of the 1976 Copyright Act, Visual Arts. It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright law to the owner of copyright. These rights, however, are not unlimited in scope. Sections 107 through 122 of the 1976 Copyright Act establish limitations on these rights. In some cases, these limitations are specified exemptions from copyright liability. One major limitation is the doctrine of “fair use,” which is given a statutory basis in section 107 of the 1976 Copyright Act. In other instances, the limitation takes the form of a “compulsory license” under which certain limited uses of copyrighted works are permitted upon payment of specified royalties and compliance with statutory conditions.

How will TK tools benefit our community?

How will TK tools benefit our community?

How long does it take to develop TK Labels?

How long does it take to develop TK Labels?

Do I need permission to use the TK Licenses?

Do I need permission to use the TK Licenses?

Intellectual Property Consult Agreement

Mozilla TK Label Interview

Mozilla TK Label Interview

How do we implement TK Labels in our collection?

How do we implement TK Labels in our collection?

Our community wants to develop TK Labels. What’s next?

Our community wants to develop TK Labels. What’s next?

NAGPRA Use Guidelines

NAGPRA Use Guidelines

What is Mukurtu and how can I use it for my collection?

What is Mukurtu and how can I use it for my collection?

What is an ethical guideline?

What is an ethical guideline?

What if my community’s collections are in multiple institutions?

What if my community’s collections are in multiple institutions?

How do you initiate collaboration?

How do you initiate collaboration?

What are the advantages of collaboration?

What are the advantages of collaboration?

Is collaboration necessary for labeling?

Is collaboration necessary for labeling?

How does the TK Label Adapter work?

How does the TK Label Adapter work?

Does our community need to know where our collections are before labeling?

Does our community need to know where our collections are before labeling?

What does this cost?

What does this cost?

Do I need special software?

Do I need special software?

Does it work with Mukurtu CMS?

Does it work with Mukurtu CMS?

How does this work in our CMS?

How does this work in our CMS?

What is a protocol?

What is a protocol?

Who is a TK Holder?

Who is a TK Holder?

What is a TK Label?

What is a TK Label?

Who are the TK Labels for?

Who are the TK Labels for?

Does labeling change anything legally?

Does labeling change anything legally?

Are TK Labels legally binding?

Are TK Labels legally binding?

What does labeling do?

What does labeling do?

Do we need to own material that we want to label?

Do we need to own material that we want to label?

Can we customize the TK Labels according to our community needs?

Can we customize the TK Labels according to our community needs?

Can we customize the TK Labels according to our institution needs?

Can we customize the TK Labels according to our institution needs?

What is Intellectual Property?

What is Intellectual Property?

What is copyright?

What is copyright?

What is a copyright holder?

What is a copyright holder?

How long does copyright last?

How long does copyright last?

What if a work was made in the US but is held in an overseas institution?

What if a work was made in the US but is held in an overseas institution?

What is public domain?

What is public domain?

What is ‘in perpetuity’?

What is ‘in perpetuity’?

What is Traditional Knowledge (TK)?

What is Traditional Knowledge (TK)?

What is the TK Label Adapter?

What is the TK Label Adapter?

What is a Memorandum of Understanding or Memorandum of Agreement?

What is a Memorandum of Understanding or Memorandum of Agreement?

Who is a TK User?

Who is a TK User?

TK Attribution (TK A)

TK Attribution (TK A)