International Copyright: Principles, Law, and Practice

By Paul Goldstein | Go to book overview

§ 5
PROTECTION UNDER COPYRIGHT
AND NEIGHBORING RIGHTS

§ 5.1
SUBJECT MATTER

Copyright systems around the world have historically protected a wide array of intellectual productions created through traditional forms of individual authorship. Novels, dramas, and poems have long come within copyright subject matter, as have musical compositions, paintings, drawings, and prints. However, legislation varies from country to country in the treatment of less traditional forms of creative productions, particularly those that are connected to industrial technology and are the product of team effort rather than individual authorship. Industrial design, for example, often receives special treatment because its connection to technological arts places it in a borderland between copyright and patent. Many countries treat sound recordings specially because of the technological means essential to their creation. Another reason for treating productions such as industrial design and sound recordings differently is that they are characteristically the product of collaborative, rather than individual, creativity.

Civil law countries have generally, but not consistently, consigned protection of collaborative technological productions to regimes of neighboring rights. Common law countries, with their utilitarian emphasis on the products rather than the processes of creative work, have generally, but not consistently, included these productions in the subject matter of copyright, alongside such traditional objects as novels and musical works. The U. S. Copyright Act, for example, includes broadcasts and all forms of performance, not just sound recordings, among its copyrightable works, giving them the same term of protection as it does more traditional classes of copyright

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