1 What is copyright?
Copyright is a right under the Copyright Act and refers to the right to protect "copyrighted works.
A "work" is defined as "a creative expression of thought or feeling that falls within the scope of literature, science, art, or music.
And the Copyright Act lists as examples of works: (1) novels, screenplays, theses, lectures, and other verbal works; (2) music; (3) dances or silent plays; (4) paintings, prints, sculptures, and other fine arts; (5) architectural works; (6) maps or drawings, diagrams, models, and other figures of an academic nature; (7) films; (8) photographs; and (9) programs, (ix) Programs. Buildings and design drawings can also be copyrighted works.
2 Points to consider when examining copyright
Copyright is a right to protect "copyrighted works" as described above. Therefore, if a work is merely a report of current events, a mere idea, or a common expression that everyone uses, it cannot be considered a "copyrighted work" because creativity is not recognized.
(2) Who is the author?
If a creative work is recognized as a "work," the "author," who is the "creator of the work," can claim copyright on the work.
Therefore, when considering copyright infringement, it is necessary to confirm who the "author" is.
Since copyrights (excluding moral rights) can be transferred, it is often not easy for a third party to know who the copyright holder is, and it is necessary for the person claiming copyright to prove it.
Here, the question sometimes arises as to whether the copyright holder of a work created by an employee of a company under work-related instructions is the employee himself/herself or the company.
In this case, the employee is actually creating the work, but the copyright holder of the completed work is the company (Article 15(1) of the Copyright Law).
In cases where the actual creator of the work is a subcontractor who is not an employee, or where the company uses illustrations created privately by an employee, the identity of the copyright holder may be disputed, and should be confirmed in advance in a contract or similar document.
(3) Contents of copyright
Copyrights can be divided into moral rights and copyright property rights. As mentioned above, copyright property rights can be transferred, but moral rights cannot be transferred.
Moral rights include the right of publication, which allows authors to decide whether or not to publish their works, the right of attribution, which allows authors to decide whether or not to publish their names as authors, etc., and the right of identity preservation, which allows authors to request that their works not be altered without their permission.
Copyright property rights also include (1) reproduction rights, (2) performance rights, (3) performance rights, (4) screening rights, (5) public transmission rights, (6) making transmittable, (7) right of public communication, (8) oral communication rights, (9) exhibition rights, (10) distribution rights, (11) transfer rights, (12) lending rights, (13) adaptation rights, and (14) rights of the original author to use derivative works.
The most common copyright infringement problem is (1) the right of reproduction, but if a new work is created by relying on an existing work, (2) the right of adaptation can also be a problem.
Therefore, when copyright infringement becomes an issue, it is also necessary to confirm which of the copyrights is being infringed.
(4) Cases in which copyright is restricted (cases in which anyone can freely use the work)
Under the Copyright Act, copyright infringement does not occur in certain cases, even if permission to use the work is not obtained.
For example, reproduction for private use within a limited scope such as for oneself and family members, reproduction in libraries, etc., and citation of another person's work in one's own work for the purpose of introduction, reference, etc.
However, the scope of the right is interpreted in a limited manner, and it should be noted that reproduction and distribution of illustrations or photographs that are copyrighted works of others within a company is also considered copyright infringement.
3 What is copyright registration?
Although we have explained that copyright is a right that does not require "registration," there is, in fact, a system for registering copyright.
The copyright registration system is not for the acquisition of rights, but for the registration of certain facts as defined by the Copyright Act.
For example, when a copyrighted work is transferred, the transfer of said copyright can be registered. This gives the legal effect of being able to assert against a third party that a copyright has been assigned to you (to claim your rights).
Although not widely used in practice, please refer to the following website for more information on the copyright registration system. Copyright Registration System | Agency for Cultural Affairs