---------------How to Access Electronic Information---------------
Copyright and the New Technologies
Copyright is literally the "right to copy" a creative work. The copyright owner can permit or deny someone else the right to use a work. This can include uses such as copying, adapting or translating the work. Canadian copyright is protected by the Copyright Act of Canada, a federal law in force since 1924. Internationally, there is reciprocal copyright protection with most of the developed countries in the world.
Copyright law is old. Originally, interpreting the law was fairly straightforward. For example, a work was a novel, painting, sculpture, or musical composition. To use that work meant to copy out portions by hand, to photograph the painting or sculpture, or to arrange the music for different instruments. You needed the permission of the copyright owner to use the work in any substantial way.
But art and technology have changed significantly over the last hundred years. Understanding of copyright law has become blurred because of the many new kinds of creative works and technologies. Luckily, the same basic rules about copyright still apply. Copyright still protects creative works. Use of the work is still controlled by the owner of the copyright.
Let's look at a newer art form, the music video. All kinds of creative work go into making a music video. Music, of course, but also still photos, movie clips, singing and dancing, perhaps the spoken word, all appear in these videos. The law of copyright says that the copyright owner of each of these separate works must give permission for the use of her work. And, when the music video is finished, it is a new copyright work, a "compilation", with all the implied rights.
Multi-media, CD-ROM, online databases, and other such formats contain creative works that may include contributions by many copyright owners. When the copyright owner of such a work gives permission to use the work, the permission is usually limited to a few activities and there is often a fee attached. It is important to check and comply with the conditions of use before using these new technologies. If you are creating your own CD- ROM or online product, ensure that you receive permission from all the contributing copyright owners.
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