Current Trends in Copyright, Trademark and Entertainment Law
The digital era has introduced us to convenience, instant communication, instant information and unlimited databases for research. Along with digital information comes the growing need for ways to protect it. Our Copyright, Trademark and Entertainment Laws must be improved to protect against copyright infringement in the digital age.
In 2013, approximately $9.7 billion worth of software was pirated in the United States. While copyrighting software has been practiced for decades, the means to illegally replicate and distribute it has grown tremendously. Finding ways to protect software developers and their products is imperative to keeping their companies running. Similar issues are occuring in digital fields such as databases and digital media. Today’s technology allows for easy, cheap and instantaneous file sharing. Twitter, for example, averages over 9000 tweets per second globally. It literally takes seconds for an original document or file to become globally accessible. As these changes and technological advances occur, there is a growing need to update copyright laws and practices.
What Is Being Done?
The U.S. government is reviewing the current state of affairs and considering steps needed to update the relevant copyright, trademark and entertainment laws. There is a recognized need to improve these rules to protect developers and distributors. Database rights are also being reviewed. Databases fall outside the protections of the U.S. Copyright Law because a database is not a creative work. Regulation has been encouraged to govern the use of this factual information. Exclusive rights to digital media rights are also being reviewed for improvements. Social media has exploded in recent years and the sharing of files is possibly one of the most common features of these social media websites. Photographs, written documents, music and videos are passed around the internet millions of times each day, every day of the year. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was implemented in 1998 to protect the owners of creative works in the digital world. However, technology has continued to advance and evolve faster than the copyright laws can adapt.
Present and Future
Databases, digital media, software and internet technology are part of our daily lives. While many people give little thought to how information is received, there are specific rules governing the ownership and transfer of data and materials. There is a growing need to focus on updating the laws that protect the owners and creators of creative works and information. The digital revolution presents new challenges for the current copyright, trademark and entertainment laws. Changes must be made to ensure that artists, creators, distributors and owners are able to produce, protect and profit from their material under the protection of the appropriate laws.
At Creative Law Network, we help you make sense of all of these legal issues and changes. If your work is available online, talk to us about ways to protect both yourself and your work. We will help you understand the law and use it to your advantage.