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Intellectual Property Law.

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Intellectual Property Law Q: 'The conception of authorship in UK copyright law in no way presupposes that the author of a protected copyright work is a genius, but it does presuppose that the author is an individual, whether this individual is a human being or a legal person such as a company.' Discuss, paying particular attention to the following questions: Is this an accurate description of the author in UK copyright law? How, if at all, is collective creativity encouraged by UK copyright law? Could or should the law enforce the notion - advanced by commentators such as Jaszi and Woodmansee - that creativity is inevitably collaborative in nature? In copyright law to date, the author acts as the centralising point around which the rules and concepts of the law are organised. With this in mind, deciding upon an accepted notion of authorship and a definition of who or what an author is, is crucial to any further understanding of what exactly copyright law seeks to do. The law is not silent on the definition of an author. Section 9(1) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (the 1988 Act) ...read more.


been produced through a process of collaboration between the authors with some shared common plan, even in its loosest sense, and the respective contributions must not be distinct or separate from each other, that is, the contributions must all mesh into one seamless whole. It is submitted that the U.K. Copyright law, via the establishment of joint authorship, acknowledges collective creativity, but to state that it encourages it, may be somewhat of an exaggeration. Section 10 is still to unwieldy and the relevant copyright jurisprudence still too much enthralled by the Romantic individualistic notion of authorship, for there to be a 'no-holds-barred' embracing of collective creativity. The question whether U.K. Copyright law could enforce the notion of collective creativity deals with the factual elements of the situation - is it possible, or even if possible, would it be effective, for the law to enforce this particular notion? Ginsburg states that the attribution of authorship seems to be a construction to aid in the 'utilitarian centralisation' of control in one party - the economically dominant one - which in turn, may favour the more efficient public dissemination of works of authorship. As a legal matter, it is difficult to institutionalise complex collaborative methods. ...read more.


The internet and electronic technology on the whole has already begun to slash away at the concept of authorship as a solitary, individual thing via the newsgroups, message boards and industry/topic specific forums that abound. The phenomenon of the reply to the reply to the reply of an original message has introduced a copyrighted work with oft-times, no distinguishable single author. As Woodmansee states, 'electronic communication seems to be assaulting the distinction between mine and thine that the modern construct was designed to enforce.' However, electronic technology, as well as other forms which utilise creative collaboration is not going to go away, only get more complex and it would behove copyright law to make more of an effort to adapt to the times before being rendered completely irrelevant. 1 'The Concept of Authorship in Comparative Copyright Law', Jane C. Ginsburg 2 'On the Author Effect: Recovering Collectivity', Martha Woodmansee 3 'On the Author Effect: Contemporary Copyright and Collective Creativity', Peter Jaszi 4 'Singular Texts/Plural Authors', Andrea Lunsford & Lisa Ede 5 Cala Homes v Alfred McAlpine East Ltd [1995] FSR 449 6 [1921] I Ch 503 7 'Open Source and Copyleft: Authorship Reconsidered?', Severine Dusollier ...read more.

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