LAW201: Introduction to Business Law
Essay and Literature Review
Mary’s Discount Public Relations Company has recently hired you as a PR consultant. Mary knows you have studied business law and asks your advice on the following:
Mary operates an information service known as “Mary’s PR Notes “ which she emails to clients who subscribe to her service. Mary’s PR Notes provides subscribers with abstracts of articles on public relations. The articles come from a variety of newspapers and magazines. The abstract includes the headline of the article (unaltered) and a short summary of the article’s content written by one of Mary’s employees.
Recently the editor of “Puffery 4U” contacted Mary complaining that Mary’s service is using his material. The editor was particularly concerned about how Mary uses the headlines from his articles.
Describe and discuss the nature of the issue and the legal implications
Identify the relevant area of the law referring to cases and statutes
Apply legal principles to the problem or issue using the relevant law to argue the case
Include a literature review of the problem including relevant legal citations
Throughout this essay the topic of Mary’s Discount Public Relations Company and Mary’s PR Notes will be discussed and analyzed as to why Mary’s company may have breached some levels of copyright. Mary needs to be advised on what she may be doing wrong and how she can overcome these issues in her current situation regarding “Puffery 4U” and their complaints of how Mary is using their material and also other complications she may face in the future.
Mary’s public relations company offers an information service titled “Mary’s PR Notes” which she emails to clients who subscribe to her service. The emails provide subscribers with abstracts if articles on public relations which come from a variety of newspapers and magazines. The abstracts include the headline of the article, which is unaltered in any way, and a short summary of the article’s content, which is then written by one of Mary’s employees.
Recently the editor of “Puffery 4U” contacted Mary and is complaining that Mary’s service is using his material and breaching copyright. The editor is particularly concerned about how Mary uses the headlines from his articles.
Copyright is a type of property that is founded on a person's creative skill and labour. It is designed to prevent the unauthorised use by others of a work, that is, the original form in which an idea or information has been expressed by the creator.
Copyright is not a tangible thing. It is made up of a bundle of exclusive economic rights to do certain acts with an original work or other copyright subject-matter. These rights include the right to copy, publish, communicate and publicly perform the copyright material.
Mary’s situation with “Puffery 4U” may come under the subject of copyright infringement (Copyright Act 1968 Sect 36) where someone reproduces in material form the whole or part of a work without the consent of the owner. Examples include when a work is published, reproduced or performed in public without the copyright owner's permission. This general rule is subject to a number of specific exceptions in the Copyright Act. Although Mary or Mary’s employees haven’t changed the title of Puffery 4U’s articles or other articles referred to, they have however made their own summary of the articles which may twist the viewer’s perception on what the subject of the articles may be about. Even though the summaries may still be completely relevant to the articles and no bad intentions are being made, Mary’s company is still reproducing the articles or parts of them without the consent of the owners of the original material.
It is possible however that in Mary’s case her business may be able to be let off with fair dealing. This is where the material is an article in a periodical then...
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