How to protect your copyrights?
Each of us is an author to one degree or another. Some compose poems or music, take photographs, others create scientific works or write articles in magazines. In the modern world, with the current level of development of information technology, more and more people create works in digital form. Saving a work as a file, publishing it on the Internet, many do not think about how urgent the issue of copyright protection becomes, given the availability and ease of copying, and, subsequently, the illegal use of the author’s work by other people. In accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation, there is no official procedure for registering copyright. The only exceptions are computer programs and databases registered with Rospatent. Clause 4 of Article 1259 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation states: “For the creation, exercise and protection of copyright, registration of a work or the observance of any other formalities is not required.” However, in practice, very often authors are faced with the need to provide evidence in advance of their rights to the object of intellectual activity in order to insure themselves against loss or non-recognition of the rights of the author. The main method of preventive (preliminary) copyright protection is the method of providing yourself with evidence of the existence of certain objects of copyright at a certain date. The most popular methods for generating such evidence are: depositing the work in a copyright company or law firm, notarizing the date and time of the work, using special online services, or sending the work by mail to your address. Mailing of documents to your address The letter is not opened until a dispute arises. A date stamp on a postal envelope provides proof of the date the documents exist. However, this method of providing a temporary priority seems inconvenient, since it is one-time, unreliable and easily contested, since it is extremely rare for envelopes to be perfectly sealed, and accordingly, an opponent in court can say that the envelope was opened. Deposition of works Deposition of works is carried out by many organizations, for example, copyright societies or law firms. The essence of the deposit is the placement in the organization’s archive of a printed copy of the registered work and the issuance of the relevant document confirming the fact of the deposit and its date. The deposit is not a state registration of copyrights, and therefore does not guarantee “automatic” recognition of authorship by the applicant, but in fact, it simply fixes the time of presentation of the work or work. That is, copyright can still be challenged if relevant, more compelling evidence is presented, and the court will consider the document of deposit as one of the evidence, on a par with others. In this regard, notarization of the date and time of registration of a work is more “solid” evidence, because not carried out by the organization, but by an authorized person holding a state license, and often costs less than an escrow. Perhaps the only practical advantage of depositing, for example, in the Russian Authors’ Societies (RAO) over the notarial method is that a number of companies prefer to deal with the authors if they have a RAO certificate of registration of the work (for example, some concert organizations). Notarization Notarization of the date and time of presentation of the document (for example, the text of the work) is a good and proven way to protect copyright. However, this method also has certain “disadvantages.” The main conditions for notarial acts are: understanding by the notary of the meaning of the document being certified and the presence of the relevant details of the presented document, for example, a handwritten signature or an organization’s wet seal. All this does not create problems in the certification of ordinary, printed documents, but makes it difficult or impossible to notarize electronic documents, especially if the electronic document and its printed copy have serious differences due to the peculiarities of the electronic document format, information density or size. For example, when printing high-resolution photographs, the image obtained on paper will not correspond to an electronic copy, because resolution and color will change. Therefore, to register documents and works in digital form, it is better to use specialized Internet services. Services for registering electronic documents Today, services that provide priority formation services can be divided into two main categories: • services that use their own mechanism for fixing time and data; • services using the services of specialized organizations. At its core, the first category of services is no different from an ordinary depository.