Share this Page URL

Copyright > Strengths and Weaknesses of Copyrights - Pg. 146

A Primer on Intellectual Property 146 If you think your copyright has been infringed, you may prove your case by simply showing that · The alleged infringer had access to your copyrighted work; and · The allegedly infringing work is substantially similar to your work. While it is not necessary to provide direct evidence of copying, proving any infringement other than literal copying can be time-consuming and costly to show in court. In response to this, owners of valuable and easily alterable copyrights like software have come up with a creative way to prove copying: they insert a few lines of garbage code. If the garbage code shows up in another party's work, it is significant evidence of copying. Sometimes, what looks like infringement is actually what is known as fair use . Fair use enables limited use of copyrighted materials for purposes that are in the public interest such as teaching, satirizing, criticizing, or reporting news. Naturally, the "fair use exception," as this right is called, can be abused by parties seeking to cloak commerce in a greater social purpose. When assessing whether a particular situation qualifies for the fair use exception, the court will usually look to see if the use is commercial and whether it cannibalizes or diminishes the value of the copyright to its owner; if so, the court is unlikely to grant a fair use exception. Note TIP Keep at least two hard copies of allreleases and their documentationfor the duration of their presencein the marketplace, in case theyare needed for an infringementinvestigation or registrations. Some examples of fair use: Example One: Showing a brief clip of GTA3 during a news clip on violence in games. Example Two: The fair use exception was denied to a Kinko's, who had been photocopying and selling copyrighted articles for college classes, in a case brought by publishers. The court found Kinko's guilty of infringement because even though the photocopied materials were being used in college classes, Kinko's use and copying was for commercial purposes. Figure 5.6. Strategy guides. Strengths and Weaknesses of Copyrights Strengths of the copyright include: · It offers broad protection to many types of information and work.