Yana Yuuzkova, ME111i, KNEU


  1. Introduction
  2. Problems of protection of intellectual property in the World Wide Web
  3. Online offenses: A look at the problem of collecting evidence
  4. Copyright registration
  5. Conclusions


It is a well-known fact that law always lags behind public relations. And that is understandable, since the law then begins to regulate the relationship when they need it. In other words, the rules of law governing certain social relations emerge much later than the relationship itself. In the case of public relations on the global computer network, the Internet is more than a statement, because, despite the fact that the Network emerged recently, it is now possible to say that it has changed the whole world: from the developed countries of Western Europe and Northern America to the backward countries of Asia and Africa.

It will not be one year, but maybe decades, until the law reaches a level that will allow to optimally regulate social relations related to modern technologies. However, those who are already dealing with information technology need to know the legal conditions and consequences of their activities today.

The emergence of new technological opportunities has led to the widespread use of copyright and related rights on the Internet.

Problems of protection of intellectual property in the Internet

The Internet is a worldwide public information system that is logically linked by a global address space and is based on an Internet protocol defined by international standards.

One of the main problems associated with the development of global computer networks is the problem of intellectual property rights. According to some authors, “a good half of all copyrighted works available on the network were found there illegally”, that is, in violation of intellectual property rights. Numerous are also unfair treatment of signs, domain names. Thus, in the mid-1990s, when the boom associated with the Network was just beginning, individuals maliciously registered a significant number of address names (especially in com, kiev, and the like) containing alien company and trademark names for the purpose of resale addresses to sign owners. And today, these companies, having come to the Ukrainian market, have to pay or sue these persons.

These and similar cases violate certain intellectual property rights and, therefore, require protection. However, again, not all intellectual property rights protection provided by civil code and other regulations are applicable to violations of the Network, due to the high specificity of both the infringements themselves and information processes within the Network.

Legal relations (objects and subjects of copyright) on the Internet are very diverse.

List at least some rights of the subjects (owners) of rights:

  • Providers’ copyrights for computer programs and databases that implement access to the Internet or the hosting of websites on their technical platforms (servers);
  • Software vendors’ copyright for these ISPs;
  • The copyright of the web site owners for the actual content of the web site, its software part and other copyright objects, on it are placed articles, images, music, databases, etc.
  • The copyrights of specific owners of the rights to the objects placed on the websites: computer programs, music, articles, images, databases, etc., which are very actively used by Internet users.

Works in electronic form available on the digital network can be accepted by an unlimited number of users at any time at the request of each of them. Works that have been digitally accessed and uploaded to the public have become an easy target for copyright infringers.

Information – information presented in the form of signals, signs, sounds, moving or still images, or otherwise.

At the initial stage of the Internet’s development, most of its users were of the opinion that it was impossible to extend the rules applicable to legal relationships arising on digital networks. As a consequence, the preparation of bills on special regulation of legal relationships arising in the network space, in particular the draft Law on the regulation of the domestic part of the Internet, began. However, most lawyers nowadays believe that current law is quite capable of adequately regulating at least some of the areas of interconnection that emerge online.

Most often, copyrights, such objects of rights as literary, musical and audiovisual works, computer programs, as well as works of art, photography, etc. are transmitted over the Internet, including through such transmission. One of the reasons for such mass unlawful reproduction of copyrighted works is the technical simplicity of the operation. With the development of technology, the Internet user is less and less time required to obtain an identical copy of the work, or virtually inferior to the original in quality, on his computer. It is still difficult to transmit only video images over the Internet because of the large size of video information. The transmission of literary and musical works is carried out at a rate far exceeding the speed of reading or listening to such works. Another reason for the illicit circulation of works is the elementary absence of attractive options for the legal receipt of the necessary works in the presence of illegal ones. Obviously, individual rights holders are unable to track the spread of protected objects on digital networks and their use in creating multimedia products. Rights holders are effectively deprived of the ability to protect their rights in the digital environment in the same ways as in normal use copyrighted objects.

However, there is a clear interest not only in virtually all rights holders, but also in the majority of users in finding legal ways to solve emerging problems.

There are a number of misconceptions about the lawfulness of using works online. One of them is the placement of works on the site orally with the author. According to the Copyright Act, the form of the copyright contract under which property rights are to be transferred must be in writing. Of course, failure to comply with the written contract does not imply its invalidity, but only deprives the parties of the right to invoke the testimony of witnesses. However, due to the peculiarities of the copyright contract (in particular, the need to agree in it not only the property rights that are transferred, but also the term, territory, the possibility of assignment of rights to third parties, etc.), oral agreement almost never entails the transfer of copyright. As a result, the use of the work becomes illegal and enables the author or his successor to sue.

Also erroneous is the claim that creating e-libraries does not violate anyone’s rights. It is known that the applicable copyright law provides certain privileges for the use of works by libraries, in particular the library has the right, without permission of the author and without paying him the fee to reproduce reproduction, ie reproduction, which is understood to be reproduction by photocopying or by other technical means, others, than the edition. However, this provision does not allow either to digitize (reproduce) a work or place a work on a site.

Information and communication technologies are changing the life of society everywhere in the world. Innovation creates new markets for goods and services. These technologies revolutionize work processes, increase productivity in traditional industries, and increase the speed of capital movement and the flow of capital. However, changes in the economy are only one side of the issue. Societies are undergoing profound changes in the cultural sphere, shaping media, which in turn shape societies, and adapting to the avalanche-like growth of the Internet. The rapid development of new information and communication technologies around the world has its downside: it creates opportunities for new forms of exploitation, new types of criminal activity, and even new forms of crime.

The definition of “computer-related crime” or similar, such as “cybercrime,” has been discussed over the last 30 years. For the first time, a similar term was used in one of the Stanford Research Institute reports, and then, in a slightly modified form, it reappeared in the 1979 and 1989 papers. This classification was widely used in later cybercrime articles: computer as a subject of crime; the computer as the object of the crime; or the computer as a tool (the fourth variant proposed in 1973, the computer as a symbol, apparently went out of use in the 1980s). It may be useful to rephrase this conceptual model differently by considering crimes related to the use of computers as prohibited by law and / or jurisprudence that

a) is focused on the computer sphere and communication technologies;

b) involves the use of digital technologies in the commission of the offense;

c) involves the use of the computer as a tool in the commission of other crimes, and accordingly the computer acts as a source of electronic procedural evidence.

Laws and treaties, including those adopted by the Council of Europe on the Convention on Cybercrime, identify various types of crimes related to the use of computers (such as crimes against the confidentiality, integrity and accessibility of computer systems, content offenses, and intellectual property offenses).

Graphic images as copyright objects that can most often be placed on the Internet: drawing, sketch, picture, plan, drawings, movie frames, television frames, video frames, drawing and so on.

According to Art. 421 of the current Civil Code of Ukraine the subjects of intellectual property rights to the above works are the creator of the object of intellectual property (author) and other persons to whom personal non-property rights belong, as well as (or) the owner of intellectual property copyright rights. Also, according to Article 7 of the Law of Ukraine “On Copyright and Related Rights” the subjects of copyright are the authors of the works, their heirs and the persons to whom the authors or their heirs have transferred their copyright property rights.

A very important issue is the legal evaluation of the placement of any image on a website page, that is, determining whether it is a use of a work. Referring, first, to Art. 441 of the Civil Code of Ukraine, which states that the use of the work is “publication (release); reproduction by any means and in any form” may conclude that the placement of any image on a web page is a use works in the sense of Art. 441 of the Central Committee. The same norm for reproduction is in Article 1 of the current law of Ukraine “On Copyright and Related Rights”, which states that reproduction is “the production of one or more copies of a work, and their recording for temporary or permanent storage in electronic (in including digital), optical, or other computer readable form. “

Thus, the legislation of Ukraine makes it clear that placing an image on a website is already a reproduction of it. That is why the subject of copyright has the opportunity in accordance with Part 1 of Article.440 of the Civil Code of Ukraine to apply their property rights of intellectual property to the work, ie “exclusive right to allow the use of the work and the right to prevent the misuse of the work, including – to prohibit such use “.

Using a photo on a website. If an object other than the copyrighted object is fixed in the photograph, the user must only enter into an agreement with the person who holds the exclusive rights to the photo. But at the same time, photographs are often recorded in objects that are also protected by copyright, such as works of painting, sculpture, graphics, design, works of arts and crafts, works of architecture, town planning or landscape gardening. When using such works, it should be remembered that the use of these copyright objects, as well as the use of photographs, may be made only on the written permission of the author (right holder) and in accordance with Article 15 of the current law of Ukraine “On Copyright and related rights “. In other words, the user should contract not only with the author of the photos (the copyright holder) but also with the author (the copyright holder) of the copyrighted work reproduced in the photo.

It should be noted that new objects of copyright appear on the Internet, the protection of which under the current legislation is rather difficult. The most important question is to determine the legal nature of the main component of the World Wide Web – the HTML file. An HTML file embodies several intellectual property objects at once. In terms of internal structure, it is a computer program. But in terms of exterior design, an HTML page can be a literary work, a work by an artist, designer, etc. None of the existing security methods fully address the specifics of HTML. Undoubtedly, the solution would be to develop a special mechanism for protecting HTML pages and making appropriate changes to the intellectual property legislation.

Although there is no special regulation, the rights of the author of the HTML page may be protected by copyright law. If desired, the author of the HTML file can register his HTML file with the State Enterprise “Ukrainian Copyright and Related Rights Agency” (hereinafter referred to as UAASP) as a computer program, thereby confirming its authorship and priority.

More complex is the problem of using so-called “Java applets” – programs written in Java (Java), intended for Internet use. If the HTML language is sufficiently primitive, then the Java language can be called a full-fledged programming language. Features of the programs written in the language “Java” are that the program exists all the time as uncompiled text. When running an application written in the language “Java”, the user copies to his computer not only the program that he runs, but also the component necessary to compile and run the executable program directly on the user’s computer. This way several copyrighted programs are used at once.

Online offenses: A look at the problem of collecting evidence

The main issue of the problem of protection of rights violated in the World Wide Web is not how to qualify an offense on the Internet, but how to prove the fact of its implementation and bring the attacker to justice. In this regard, there are two problems. The first problem is to prove “WHO DID”, the second – “WHAT DID”.

The number one task is to identify the offender. The complexity of resolving it depends largely on how you take actions using the Internet, which by law can be considered a violation of one’s rights or legitimate interests.

The next problem is gathering evidence sufficient to resolve the dispute.

Copyright registration

Copyright registration is done by submitting an application for registration of a copyright object.

The following documents are required for copyright registration:

  1. Power of Attorney of the established model for Kondratyuk IV, who will represent your interests in registration of the object of copyright;
  2. Application in Ukrainian, which is in the form approved by the State Department of Intellectual Property (to be completed by our Agency);
  3. A copy of a work (published or unpublished) in hard copy or paper;
  4. Documents proving the fact and date of publication of the work;
  5. Document for the payment of the preparation fee for the registration of the copyright for the work (prepared by our Agency);
  6. Document on payment of the state fee for the issuance of a certificate (prepared by our Agency). The said document is submitted to the State Department of Intellectual Property upon receipt of our decision on copyright registration;
  7. Document certifying the inheritance of the property right of the author (if the application is submitted by the heir of the author);

To register the copyright, we take all the necessary steps:

  1. Consultation of the author on registration of the copyright object;
  2. Correct filling in the application for registration of the copyright object;
  3. Payment of fees and charges for registration of a copyright object;
  4. Proper registration of all documents that are attached to the Application;
  5. Obtaining the Decision on registration of copyright;
  6. Obtaining the Copyright Registration Certificate;
  7. Submission to the author of the Registration Decision and the Certificate of Copyright Registration;



Typically, copyright infringement on the Internet can be attributed to the inability to contract with each author or copyright holder whose works are used. This problem has been faced not only with the advent of digital technology (the Internet), but much earlier. For example, in the case of television and radio broadcasting, where copyright objects are also widely used. The only solution to this issue, both in one case and in the other, is the institution of collective rights management through the creation of organizations for the collective management of authors’ property rights. The main activity of such organizations is the issuance of licenses for the use of works and (or) objects of related rights and the distribution between the authors (right holders) of the fees collected for the issuance of such licenses. It should be noted that this license allows the use of all published works and is granted on behalf of all rights holders, including those who have not transferred the authority.

Судова практика Суду Європейського Союзу у сфері інтелектуальної власності (PDF)


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