What You Need To Know About Copyrights In 2016

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Like everything else in the world, things are always in constant flux.  This is no different with copyright. Legislation, market shifts, and licensing are always changing in every country on an annual basis.

For instance, the European Union (EU) unveiled broad changes to their copyright law. According to ec.europa.eu, “these proposals will help European copyright industries to flourish in the Digital Single Market and European authors to reach new audiences, while making European works widely accessible it to European citizens, also across borders.” But critics have felt that it allows too much access. For instance, educational material would be beamed across the countries at no extra cost. While this is great for students, it doesn’t help the publishers who make money on rights and permissions as every piece of text, image, design and other material is copyright protected. It puts rights acquisition front and centre. Publishers would lose out on revenue as institutions/individuals across 28 countries would have access to educational material and other content for free.

In the publishing world, DRM (Digital Rights Management) and copyrights become even more important. It’s a boon to publishers worldwide as they’re able to monetize all of their content. For instance, an educational author may need an image that is required to be part of their textbook. They will go to the DRM platform and buy the rights to retain the authorship and ownership of that specific image. This is in regards to print as well as other digital formats. Organization like the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) has risen in the wake of copyrights becoming one of the key parts of the publishing industry.

But in the last 15 years, print books have declined across most formats. The proportion of adults who had read an eBook in the past year rose to 48%, up from 43% at the end of 2016. In fact, some of the issues that were constantly becoming a problem were the easy sharing of eBooks. But thanks to strict copyright laws, this actually stopped the free sharing of information and text across the internet. More and more eBooks and other digital material are available s tablets, iPads, kindles and other e-reading devices.  The case for copyrighted material being misused is always a possibility.

Laws are constantly changing and copyright law will continue to change in the coming years. It’s important that it shouldn’t become regressive that it hurts the reader or the publisher. It has to maintain a balance where all parties can stand to gain. With the changes in technology, copyright law is sure to change with it.

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