Law being a response to social issues and challenges evolves itself in such a process. When it comes to the link between law and technology, the best example is Copyright. Any technology spawned copyright and its related industries and any new technology on the other hand, has raised a threat to copyright related industries. As a result, the industry has used all the new innovation to its benefit in terms of developing new ways to manipulate art, expanding markets, and growing profits1.
Digital technology is the most recent development in the industry on a global scale. Digital media has had a significant impact on the creation, dissemination, and protection of copyright works. Manipulation, reproduction, and distribution of protected works have all become much simpler thanks to digitization.The digital Age, which is the symbol of the ongoing century, is witness to the Internet ushering in yet another period, and this crossroads is a watershed moment in the long and turbulent history of copyright in many ways. Blending, changing, mixing, and manipulating digital content is easy.By allowing for the low-cost production of perfect copies of copyrighted works, digital technology threatens to disrupt distribution processes and increase illicit use of copyrighted works2.Thus, the Berne Convention's beautifully structured, dogmatically properly characterised, and righteous image of copy-related and non-copy-related rights has been scrambled in certain ways by the Internet. Digital interactive transmission creates a hybrid way of making information obtainable to a wide number of people and allow them to access it whenever they want3.
Digitization is one of the most important technical advancements in recent years. It refers to the process of converting works into a machine-readable format. The ability to record works in a binary format (a series of ones and zeros) in which they can be stored and transmitted is referred to as digitization. Different methods of digitization exist, but they all yield the same result: a binary code that can be replayed to recreate the original analogue experience. All tangible works, no matter how complex, can be digitally captured. As a result of digitization, all forms of subject matter can be made available to users in a standard format.
Not only did digitization change the format of works, but it also changed how they were used and distributed. Work was produced and circulated in the analogue world in the form of books or paintings. The human senses were able to detect these works. The law of copyright covered copyright works that were embedded in material form. It was the material representation of the concept that was covered, not the ideas that underpinned it. As a result, in the analogue world, reduction to material form became a condition for copyright protection. By comparison, digital works have been 'dematerialized' into an electronic or digital format.Traditional material formats do not contain them. Although the digital format of works can only be read or interpreted by computers, it can easily be converted into impulses that the human eye, ear, and mind can understand. Any analogue work that already exists can be turned into a digital data object. It is also very common to create new works in digital format because it is quick and easy. The transition from analogue to digital revolutionised not only the forms in which works can be made, but also how they can be used.Perhaps the most important result of digital technology is the ease with which it can be reproduced. Since the consistency of analogue copies degrades with each generation of copying, multigeneration copying has an inherent physical limitation. This acts as a deterrent to large-scale unlicensed copying. Digital copies, on the other hand, are perfect because they require bit-for-bit reproduction. This means that not only is any digital copy perfect in and of itself, but that perfect copies can be made from other copies indefinitely.
This is only possible by digital editing techniques, which allow for the alteration of sounds, the addition of colour to black-and-white films, even the replacement of characters in films.Because of the ease at which digital works can be altered and mixed, a new type of work has emerged: multimedia works. As a consequence of new media, the delivery of works has shifted. Digital works, unlike analogue works, can be distributed via digital transmission instead of air, land, or sea transportation or microwave transmissions.Any type of work could be made available in digital form on an electronic network or series of networks that are accessible worldwide, thanks to digital transmission4.
Traditionally, copyright has been concerned with public contact or dissemination in general. The transmission of works was restricted to one-to-one (such as telephone communication) or one-to-many (such as email) (like broadcasting). The transition of works to individuals is referred to as digital transmission. A copyright work can now be transmitted in digital form on a one-to-one, many-to-many, or all-to-all basis. Works may be sent from one person to another, from one person to a small group of people, or from one person to the general public.Since digital transmission is interactive, it no longer is restricted to one-way transmission. No broadcaster sends out works for public reception at the broadcaster's discretion. Rather, works are saved on a "server" and can be accessed or used whenever the user wants. Aside from providing access to the works, the service provider may also be a spectator. The user becomes an active participant when he or she accesses, uses, or copies a work. By acting as a further publisher of the work, the reader could also become an unauthorised re-publisher. True contact became possible as a result of digital transmission. The advantages of digitization are numerous. Authors profit from digitization not only in terms of new ways to create works, but also in terms of more widespread and efficient delivery of their works via digital transmission. Technical innovation and development opportunities exist in the machine, television, cable, satellite, and telecommunications industries.Digital delivery also makes works, documents, and services accessible digitally in ways that are much more useful than conventional analogue formats for virtually anyone in the public. Despite these many benefits, digitization has proven to be a double-edged sword, as it has led to new and exciting ways of making and enjoying copyright works, as well as new ways of infringing on authors' rights.
Authors' economic and moral rights, as well as their compliance, are threatened by digitization. It also has the potential to disrupt the current balance between author and consumer rights. With the advent of the Internet and increased usage of the worldwide web, the possibilities of copyright infringement have grown exponentially. Free and convenient access to the web, as well as the ability to download, has generated new issues of copyright infringement. Digital technology has made it possible to take material from one site, change it, or simply reproduce it on another site, posing new problems for conventional interpretations of individual rights and security.A publisher can be anybody with a personal. It only takes a few mouse clicks to download, upload, save, convert, or create a derivative work. As a result, a regulation or process was required to allow writers to manipulate and manage their works in the digital format. The success of online global knowledge networks can be jeopardised if writers' rights are not adequately secured.
1. Mittal, R. (2006). From Printing Press to the Internet: The Stride of Copyright along with Technology, Intellectual Property and Technology Law Journal, 1, 21-46.
2. Burgess, J. (1993). Internet Creates a Computer Culture of Remote Intimacy, The Washington Post, A1, A8.
3. Ficsor, M. (2002). The Law of Copyright and the Internet. London, Oxford University Press
4. Dixon, Allen N. & Self, Laurie C.,"Copyright Protection for Information Superhighway", European Intellectual Property Review,pp. 465-493, 1994
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