Quite simply, copyright affords the creators of a wide range of materials, rights which enables them to control the use of their material such as music, recordings, literature, art, films and broadcasts.
The point of Copyright is to encourage creativity by allowing the creator (s) to gain an economic reward for their work and so to encourage future creativity from the creator.
How do I obtain Copyright protection?
Unlike other forms of Intellectual Property protection (such as a Trademark) Copyright protection is automatic, and therefore, there is no need to attempt to obtain Copyright by any other means. As soon as there is a record in any form of the created material, Copyright automatically follows without the necessity to fill out any forms or pay any fees.
What happens if someone breaches the Copyright
The owner of the Copyright (the creator) can sue an infringer if it can be proven that the material has been used or copied without permission. However, any creator should consult a solicitor immediately upon discovering any infringement.
Litigation can be very expensive in Copyright claims. If no actual financial damage has been caused to the creator, an alternative to immediate litigation is asking the infringer to cease and desist from their unauthorised use/publication of the material in question.
DISCLAIMER: This article should not be regarded as constituting legal advice in relation to particular circumstances. This article is merely a general comment on the relevant topic. If specific advice is required in connection with any of the matters covered in this article, please speak to selachii. directly.