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The copyright is a form of the intellectual property rights (IPR) that are an end product of the spiritual activity of human being and create a value in property.  In order to protect a creator’s right and interest resulting from his or her own creation from being infringed, the government sets up IPR system by legal operation.  The copyright, a protection tool under law for protecting all rights and interests incurred from any creations (or works) of a person who creates such, a copyright owner, and it contains the Moral Right and the Economic Right.  In early development of the copyright, it is mainly applied in the commercial publication, and that’s why it is also well known as “book right”.

According to the Copyright Act (hereafter called “the Act”), it was a requisite that an effective copyright has to be registered statutorily to get proper protection before 1985; therefore, the majority of books published in early days had been printed with legends of “Copyright reserved.” or such equivalent.  Till now, we still call the page indicating information like the book title, author and publisher as “colophon”.  Nevertheless, the copyright is not only protective toward the right of the copyright owner to publish and print, but includes all sorts of rights incurred from works so that it might narrow down such rights if we use “book right” rather than “copyright’.  Thus in recent years, the public has been using “copyright” to contain such rights instead of “book right”.

As provided in Article 10 of the Act, a copyright originated from any work upon its completion by the copyright owner; that means, once the work is done it shall be automatically under the protection scope of the copyright.  It is not necessary to apply registration or entry of any procedure to any authority or organization, or to disclose it to the public or indicate the name of the author when disclosing any work. 

The Act stated that the copyright consists of moral right and economic right.  Moral right is to protect the copyright owner’s right and interest accompanied with his or her reputation, prestige and human dignity.  Because apiece work represents a painstaking effort of a copyright owner and is inseparable with the copyright owner, the moral right shall not be transferred or inherited.  Moral right includes the right of publication, right of paternity and right of integrity.  Economic right entitles the copyright owner to receive a right in property and/or in commerce derived from his or her copyrighted work.  Such copyright owner will be sustained or further motivated to create more and more works by attaining some economical interests through transferring or licensing his or her economic right.

Economic right can be adjusted along with the way works are utilized in the society.  At the present time, the rights protected under the Act are described as follows.
1. Unless otherwise provided in the Act, the copyright owner has an exclusive right to reproduce his/her work.

2. The performer has an exclusive right to reproduce his/her performance by means of audio recording, video recording or photography.

3. The copyright owner has an exclusive right to recite his/her literary works in public.

4. Unless otherwise provided in the Act, the copyright owner has an exclusive right to publicly broadcast his/her works; however, for the rebroadcast of the performance, which has been reproduced and/or publicly broadcast before, the performer shall not be given such right.

5. The copyright owner has an exclusive right to present his/her audio/video works in public.

6. Unless otherwise provided in the Act, the copyright owner has an exclusive right to publicly perform his/her literary, musical and theatrical, and dance works.  The performer has an exclusive right to publicly perform his/her performance by means of amplifier or other equipment; however, for those performances reproduced and/or publicly broadcast before, the performer shall not have such right when such performance are publicly performed by means of amplifier or other equipment.  The copyright owner shall be entitled to request a compensation of use to a performer who performs his/her sound-recording works in public.

7. Unless otherwise provided in the Act, the copyright owner has an exclusive right to publicly transmit his/her works.  The performer has an exclusive right to publicly transmit his/her performance reproduced in sound-recording works.

8. The copyright owner has an exclusive right to publicly display his/her undisclosed art works or photography works.

9. The copyright owner has an exclusive right to adopt or to edit his/her works into a derivative works or compilation works; however, such right shall not be applicable to a performance.

10. Unless otherwise provided in the Act, the copyright owner has an exclusive right to distribute his/her works by transferring his/her ownership on such works.  The performer has an exclusive right to distribute his/her performance by transferring his/her ownership on such performance reproduced in sound-recording works.

11. Unless otherwise provided in the Act, the copyright owner has an exclusive right to rent his/her works; the performer has an exclusive right to rent his/her performance reproduced in sound-recording works.

 
The copyright has been categorized as follows:

A. literary works;

B. musical works

C. theatrical and dance works;

D. art works;

E. photography works;

F. graph works;

G. audio and video works;

H. sound-recording works;

I. architectural works, and

J. computer program works.

 
The term of copyright

The copyright occurs at the completion of works.

Unless otherwise provided in the Act, the economic right survives for fifty years after the death of the copyright owner.
(1)   The term of the economic right lasts for ten years upon its first public disclosure which happens between the forty and fifty years after the death of copyright owner.
(2)   The economic right of joint works shall survive for fifty years after the death of last copyright owner.
(3)   The economic right of pseudonymous works and anonymous works shall survive for fifty years after its publication; however, if there is any evidence proving that the death of such copyright owner has exceeded fifty years, the economic right shall perish or go into public domain.
(4)   The economic right of works owned by a legal person shall last for fifty years upon the public disclosure of such works, except for that of works that has not been disclosed within fifty years starting from the completion of works, wherein such right shall survive for fifty years upon the completion of works.