Digitising works

The Internet has emerged, and it presents significant conceptual and practical difficulties for copyright law.”[1]

The mere fact that a copyright work is changed to a digital format does not mean that it has been altered so radically as to make it a new piece of copyright or even a derivative copyright work.[2] The Internet has created disparity in the many ways a copyright infringement may occur that were not contemplated by preceding legislation or practices designed for the ‘offline’ world. “These [copyright] debates recognise that the Internet fits uneasily within the regulatory frameworks that were built before its conception.”[3]

A work may be misappropriated on the Internet in numerous ways, such as, printing content from a file, displaying a copyright work or part of such a work on a website, uploading or downloading a work other than for caching purposes, transmitting copyright material by email, inserting copyright work in a bulletin board or newsgroup, copying a work without permission or notice, presenting the work of another as the work of oneself, including reproducing the style of the original creation, deliberately leading others to believe that the work is that of the original creator, producing an online parody or an online endorsement, failing to give credit for a reproduction, or inaccurately attributing credit in the case of a distorted work. [4]

What is exclusive to the Internet is the ease with which an author’s work can be compromised. [5]


[1] Lindsay, D. “Copyright Infringement via the Internet: the Liability of Intermediaries”, Centre for Media, Communications and Information Technology Law, pp4-8, available at http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/cmcitl/publications/Copyright11.html accessed 2 March 2006

[2] Ginsburg, J. “Putting Cars on the ‘Information Superhighway’: Authors, Exploiters, and Copyright in Cyberspace”, 1995, Columbia Law Review, vol 95, part 2

[3] Lim, Y.F. “Cyberspace Law: Commentaries and Materials”, 2002, Oxford University Press, Singapore at [397].

[4]Information Management Copyright Guide, “Appendix 5 – Copyright on the Internet and the Digital Agenda”, available at http://www.oit.nsw.gov.au/Guidelines/4.3.28.p-Copyright.asp accessed 2 March 2006; Lim, Y.F. “Cyberspace Law: Commentaries and Materials”, 2002, Oxford University Press, Singapore at [382].

[5] Lim, Y.F. “Cyberspace Law: Commentaries and Materials”, 2002, Oxford University Press, p. 382

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Filed under Copyright Law, Cyberspace law, Digitising works, Intellectual Property Law

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