Copyright: how to deal with plagiarism.

Copyright infringement occurs in different forms, in particular copying scripts, scientific works, song lyrics, literary, scientific and any artistic works. Commercial distribution of songs, the broadcast of movie series and films on the Internet also most often violate copyrights. There is a common concept for describing such actions – "plagiarism". The reasons why people are engaged in plagiarism or resort to its use are different. Economic benefits, poor legal literacy, an attempt to save money on advertisement or usual unwillingness to pay for other people's work.

In this article, we will cover legal aspects of copyright issues with respect to literary works

Registration of the literary work is not required in order to protect the copyright. Article 10 of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On copyright and related rights" states that copyright for a scientific, literary and artistic work arises by virtue of the fact of its creation.

In turn, it should be noted that the Republic of Uzbekistan is a party to the Berne Convention "On the protection of literary and artistic works". Currently, the total number of parties to this convention is more than 170 countries. In other words, the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan granted legal protection for literary works produced in countries, which are parties to the convention. Thus, authors of all member countries enjoy exclusive rights to protect their copyrights in Uzbekistan.

What rights do authors of literary works have?

The author of the work owns both (i) proprietary and (ii) personal non-proprietary. Personal non-property rights are mainly associated with the recognition of the author as the creator of the work, while proprietary rights are aimed at receiving benefits through the commercial use of copyright.

Authors often use their proprietary rights while cooperating with publishing organizations, which acquire a license from the author to publish, replicate, and therefore sell literary works. Simultaneously, the author retains personal non- proprietary rights, i.e. specifying full name or pseudonym of the author on all copies of the product. While the author's property rights may be transferred, non-property rights are inseparable from the author's personality. Authorship shall not be transferred to another person.

Copyright infringement

If third parties intend to use the copyrighted work for commercial purposes, then in accordance with the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On copyright and related rights", it is necessary to conclude a copyright agreement with the copyright holder or the organization managing property rights. Article 61 of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan " On copyright and related rights " qualifies the use of a work without the permission of the copyright holder as a violation of copyright, for which liability measures are provided, such as confiscation, damage recovery, injunctions, etc. It should be emphasized that copies of works, whose reproduction or distribution is carried out in violation of copyright, are considered counterfeit.

Persons, who are found guilty for copyright infringement, shall be fined with confiscation of counterfeit copies of works, as well as materials and equipment used for their reproduction and distribution, and other instruments of committing an offense.

In some cases, the fine may reach up to 30,000 US dollars or the infringer can be punished with deprivation of a certain right for up to five years.

Counterfeit literary works most often are placed in online shops, in social networks such as "Instagram" and/or "Telegram". There are a lot of resources on the Internet that somehow sell counterfeit works. Counterfeit works can be determined by checking the quality of the materials used for this work, and also price for counterfeit products is much lower than original one.  Such a way of using literary works is a gross violation of copyright, moreover, such actions have serious detrimental effect for authors and/ or organizations that manage the rights. In our opinion, significant damage from plagiarism is caused to official distributors of works who acquires a license to publish, replicate and sell literary works for a lot of money, and also pays taxes to the state budget.

The turnover of counterfeit products of literary works ultimately affects the segment of book market as a whole in Uzbekistan.

Copyright Limitation

With the commercial use of works of copyright, everything looks pretty clear, but the use of works of copyright for personal purposes raises many questions.

It follows from the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On copyright and related rights" that the "fair use" regime – fair use within reasonable limits is allowed for non-commercial (scientific, educational and personal) purposes by individuals, as well as reproduction, copying and use of an author's work that is already publicly presented with the name of the author and the source of publication.

At the same time, the law specifies that such restrictions are applied, assuming, this does not cause unreasonable prejudice to the normal use of the work and does not unreasonably infringe on the legitimate interests of the author.

Although registration and other formalities are not required for the emergence of copyrights, authors and, in principle, any copyright holders are recommended to deposit copyrights in depositories registered in Uzbekistan. The deposit of copyrights means the recording of the fact of the creation of works by one or another person. However, depositing is not a direct obligation of the author, but can only provide an additional basis for securing their rights.