The creators of original works protected by copyright, and their heirs, have a set of exclusive rights. They hold the exclusive right to use or authorize others to use the work on agreed terms. These exclusive rights are known as economic rights because they protect the financial position and the commercial interest of copyright owners and they are meant to reward creators for their creativity, investment, labour and to encourage them to keep producing new works. Therefore the original creator has the right to:
- reproduce the work in any form of copying such as photocopy, downloading, uploading, printing recording for example in the form of compact discs, cassettes or videotapes, photographing, scanning etc.
- public performance, as in performing a play in front of an audience or playing a CD in a store or restaurant etc.
- broadcast the work by playing a song over the radio or showing a film on TV
- translate the work into other languages, or its adaptation such as novel onto screenplay.
- distribute the work by selling copies to the public.
- communicate the work to the public by uploading a work over the internet.
The economic rights have a time limit, of 50 years after the creator’s death. Economic rights are passed on to the creators heirs after the creator dies. They continue to receive payment for the reproduction, public performance, broadcasting, translation, distribution and communication to the public of the work for next 50 years.
The creators of original works protected by copyright also have moral rights which are rights that maintain a personal link between the creators and their These are the right to:
- be recognized as the author of the work by signing their names or remain anonymous or sign a fictional name.
- to oppose changes to it that could harm the creator’s reputation
The moral rights do not have a time limit and remain even after the creator dies.