What is copyright?

The CLA have posted some interesting videos on their YouTube page.

They’ve interviewed various people and asked them to say what copyright means for them. There are a few different points of view: a university copyright officer, a freelance photographer, an educational author and a number of people working in the publishing industry.

Here are some choice quotes (see if you can match the quote to the speaker):

  • “[Copyright] is something even the very young can understand”.
  • “I get a royalty statement twice a year…. It’s a complete delight [that my work is still selling after sometimes 20 years]… I benefit financially but also just emotionally. I love… knowing that [my work] is still out there… that it’s still being used and people are still liking it”.
  • “When I rang them up and said excuse me but you’ve got my images, they said ‘Oh the Web Designer said it’s fine because they’re on the internet’. No!”
  • “I like to talk about copyright a lot because I really enjoy it.”

The videos are worth dipping into. It’s good to get the perspective of those who really lose out on a personal as well as professional level because of copyright infringement–the photographer, Jemma Watts, is particularly good at articulating this.

And I also like this definition of copyright, from Mel Thompson, educational author, which you can equally apply to internet-based resources: “If you buy a book, you don’t buy the words, the story or the illustrations in that book…all you buy is… the access to be able to enjoy and use those things… It’s simply access. It’s not ownership.”

(Image: Creative Commons licence from gaelx)

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