Copyright, Designs and Patent Act

From TRCCompSci - AQA Computer Science
Jump to: navigation, search

The copyright, design and patent act allows creators to control the way in which their work is distributed or used. Depending on the type of product made, the protection varies. Some core features such as colour cannot be copyrighted due to being considered to essential.

Copyright length also varies on the format that is copyrighted, for example music and literature have different lengths of how long the claim lasts.

The Act gives rights to the creators of certain kinds of material, allowing them control over the way in which the material is used. The law covers the copying, adapting and renting of materials.

The law covers all types of material but of particular relevance to computing are:

  • original works including instruction manuals, computer programs and some types of databases
  • web content
  • original musical works
  • sound recordings
  • films and videos.

Copyright is the legal ownership that application software, music, films and other content. Copyright applies to all works regardless of format. Consequently, work produced on the Internet is covered by copyright. It is illegal to produce pirate copies of software or more versions on a network than have been paid for. It is an offence to adapt existing versions of software without permission. It is also an offence to download music or films without the permission of the copyright holder.

In computing, two techniques are used to protect copyright:

  • Digital Rights Management (DRM)
  • licensing.