Nowadays, the Internet offers us a multitude of opportunities to access and create content easily and quickly. However, behind every content posted on the network that we access through websites, portals, image banks or social networks, there is a right belonging to the creator of certain works that can limit its use, and this is the right known as “Copyright”.
What is copyright?
Copyright is part of Intellectual Property Law, and covers all artistic, scientific or literary works, such as novels, photographs, apps, films, theatre plays, video games, etc.
Copyright is generated at the moment of creation of a work and belongs to the author by the mere fact of being an author, granting him/her the full capacity and exclusivity to exploit his/her work.
Within copyright there are two types of rights: moral rights and economic rights.
- Moral rights are those linked to the author’s personality, such as: the right to decide on the dissemination of a work and its form; the right to demand recognition of his authorship; or the right to demand respect for the integrity of his work against any alteration or modification thereof.
In Spanish law, these rights are inalienable (they cannot be transmitted by inter vivos acts). However, in Anglo-Saxon countries it is possible to waive them.
As for their duration, the right to claim authorship of the work and respect for its integrity are imprescriptible, while the right to disseminate the work lasts for the life of the author and 70 years after his or her death.
- Economic rights are those that refer to the economic sphere and are transferable. On the one hand, they enable the author to prohibit certain uses of his works, and on the other hand, to obtain an economic return from his works by selling or transferring them to third parties.
Rights as authors and obligations as users
The Internet brings us many benefits for the dissemination of our works, however, it also exposes us to risks such as plagiarism, theft of content, improper use of works, in short, the infringement of copyright. For this reason, it is necessary to know our rights as authors and our obligations as users of the network.
As authors, it will be necessary to know the tools that the law provides for the protection of works, such as intellectual property registers; pay attention to the conditions established by the platforms or social networks before exposing our works; and take the appropriate legal action in the event of infringement of rights.
As users, we must pay attention to the validity of the copyright on the works that we access via the Internet, since if they are protected, authorisation from the author or copyright holders will be required, and sometimes financial compensation will be necessary for their reproduction, distribution, public communication or transformation.
At Navas & Cusí we believe in the advantages offered by innovation and the Internet, and we therefore offer advice on new technologies so that their use does not entail a loss of the rights recognised by law and so that we can guarantee authors the maximum protection for their works.