Artists, musicians and other creative types in New York and across the country can be grateful for the laws that protect their works from others who would try to use them for their own benefit. Complex copyright law changes frequently, and some state laws fill in gaps that exist in federal law. For example, while federal law includes music that was composed before 1972, it covers sound recordings only after 1972. Some state laws protect pre-1972 sound recordings of those songs. A recent legal decision addressed the question of remastered recordings.
The development of ideas, photographs, games and other such items take time and money. These developments are often the lifeblood of a New York business. As such, in many instances, these businesses are afforded protection for these items under copyright law.
Those who sink millions of dollars into creating a motion picture hope they will make some profit. A few fortunate filmmakers know their high-budget projects will be blockbusters, grossing many millions of dollars, especially if they are parts of popular franchises. Copyright law protects the filmmakers' rights to limit access to the movies only to those who are willing to pay the price of a ticket. In New York and elsewhere, anyone who violates that right can face serious penalties.
As society advances and people find new ways of expressing themselves, laws protecting their rights must change as well. However, it is well-known that changes in laws do not always happen quickly. One example of this is copyright law, which struggles to keep up with creativity expressed through technology. Users of social media in New York and across the country may wonder how much of what they post is protected from copyright infringement.
When someone in New York gets a great idea for a product or work of art, he or she may investigate ways to make the idea lucrative. This includes protecting it from those who may want to use it for their own benefit. However, not everything can be protected by copyright law. Ideas, names, phrases and things that are commonly known cannot be copyrighted, nor can titles or recipes. However, U.S. chefs are wondering how an international decision may affect the food industry in this country.
It is always satisfying to artists when others recognize their vision in a work of art. For example, when an artist created a replica of the Statue of Liberty for a resort in another state, he hoped the general public would notice the contemporary, even sexy, changes he made in the statue's image. Apparently, the U.S. Postal Service did not notice those differences when it chose the image for one of its stamps. However, even a mistake can be a violation of copyright law.
Few in New York will disagree that the rise in popularity of streaming music websites and apps has created confusion and conflict in the realm of copyrights. While the U.S. Congress works to bring copyright law into the modern age, it also seeks to add protections for some musical works that, because of a cutoff point in previous laws, have not fallen under the governance of the laws. This means that the creators of many of those works made before 1972 have had no recourse for protecting their work from indiscriminate use without compensation.
Netflix began as a small start-up, loaning DVDs to customers through the mail. In a short amount of time, it became a global entertainment company, providing movies, games and other technology to subscribers in New York and across the world. Recently, however, a dark cloud has fallen over the company in the form of copyright law violations.
It is not always surprising when someone violates the intellectual property rights of an artist in New York or elsewhere since laws protecting creative works are often complex and fluctuating. One of the more confusing aspects of copyright law is the concept of public domain. A work of art in the public domain is available for anyone to use without needing permission from or payment to its owner.
Fans of Jerry Seinfeld may have been delighted when his Netflix series, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" debuted in 2012. Those who loved "Seinfeld" in the 1990s enjoy his witty banter with other A-list comedians in a talk show with the gimmick of driving around New York and other cities in a car chosen by Seinfeld and stopping at coffee shops. While it may seem like a clever idea, one man claims the comedian stole his concept for the show, and he is invoking copyright law to stake his claim.