The advancement in technology has been a boon for the society and economy. At the same time, it poses challenges to existing copyright laws. It should be mentioned in this regard that the copyright law first came into existence to control the print media. Thus the law acted as a protective shelter for all sorts of creative works which include drawings, paintings, sculptures, writings and photography. Later cinema came under its purview too.
As the digital world has progressed fast over past few years, now need arises to modify these age old Copyright legislations and their core concepts. In recent years, the digital world has experienced rampant replications of digital works. There are many such original creations of high-tech industries like computing or engineering which got copied, leaving the creator with neither any credit nor monetary rewards.
The problem is that people have easy access to technological copiers or recorders, with the help of which they can easily access digital data. No such technical knowledge is needed for the purpose. The moment a digital record is placed in a public domain over internet, the creator/ author losses control over his content. In such a scenario Copyright Law provides necessary protection to high-tech industries so that intelligent minds get the right credit for their futuristic ideas and innovations. The law has now been modified to suit modern age digitization.
The United States remain a pioneer in introducing Digital Copyright regime. It took initiative in enacting the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998 that stressed on protecting technological measures by categorizing it into two categories. While the first category aimed at preventing unlawful access of data and unauthorized copying, the second limb of DMCA 1998 dealt with technological measures adopted by author to protect his copyright.
The Act was not taken well by critics who felt that such legislation would stall scientific research and academic progress. However, the DMCA did have an impact on the copyright law for the digital environment. Another Act to be mentioned in this regard is the Digital Economy Act 2010. It was enacted by the United Kingdom Parliament with an aim to regulate digital media. This Act too received its share of criticism from certain sectors.
While developed countries like the USA or UK has taken early initiatives to prevent digital piracy, developing countries are quite lagging in this regard. Now that they have entered the advanced stage of digitization, many of these countries are facing major challenges. The fact is that to most developing countries, developed nation has always provided necessary digital information.
Very important that developing countries are allowed certain relaxations, at least when it comes to educational or any other crucial research. This is needed for overall growth of the emerging economy. Finally to conclude, at present, it is difficult to address digital issues of both developing and developed countries at the same time. Thus call of the hour is to conceptualize one strong legal protection for the digital world as a whole so as to encourage creativity in useful arts.