Introduction: Intellectual property professionals often treat copyright and copyright equally. Article 5 of my country’s current Copyright Law stipulates: “Copyright is synonymous with copyright”. Do you know the difference between copyright and copyright?

Copyright was formerly called copyright. The original meaning of copyright is copyright, which is the right of reproduction. This is because printing was not popular in the past. At that time, society believed that the most important right attached to crops was the right to print and publish, so it was called this.

However, with the evolution of the times and the advancement of technology, the types of works have gradually increased. The British “Anna Act”, the world’s first copyright law, began to protect the rights of authors, not just the rights of publishers. The terms “copyright” and “copyright” are very different in etymology.

“Copyright” is a concept in the common law system. It can be seen from the original English words that the original meaning of copyright is “copy right”, which is a right created by law to prevent others from copying works without permission and harm the author’s economic interests.

In common law countries, copyright has never been regarded as a so-called “natural right” or “natural right”, but as a product of public policies that encourage and stimulate the creation of works. Correspondingly, the focus of copyright is to protect the economic rights of authors. Works have long been regarded as the author’s property and have little to do with the author’s spirit and personality.

Therefore, copyright can be freely transferred like other tangible property. At the same time, the works created by employees to complete the tasks assigned by the employer during their employment are also regarded as the property of the employer rather than the employee, and the copyright is enjoyed by the employer. Some common law countries even stipulate that in this case, the employer should be regarded as the author.

Copyright and copyright

“Copyright law” is a concept of the civil law system, and its original meaning is “author’s rights”. Compared with the copyright law of the common law system, the copyright law of the civil law system regards the work as an extension of the author’s personality and the embodiment of the spirit, rather than ordinary property.

Therefore, the copyright law of the civil law system pays more attention to protecting the personal rights of authors. More restrictions are imposed on the transfer of copyright, and the transfer and waiver of personal rights are generally not allowed. Some civil law countries even do not allow copyright transfer.

In the same way, for works completed by employees in order to complete the work tasks assigned by the employer, the employees can still obtain the original copyright under normal circumstances, and the employer can only transfer or allow the use of the property rights of the work through a contract.

However, with the joining of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (referred to as the Berne Convention) by the two major legal systems, and the mutual reference and integration of the two legal systems, the conceptual difference between “copyright” and “copyright” is also shrinking. However, the difference between the copyright system and the copyright system has not disappeared after all.

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