An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book or play, is thus a writer. More broadly defined, an author is "the person who originated or gave existence to anything" and whose authorship determines responsibility for what was created; the first owner of a copyright is the person who created the work i.e. the author. If more than one person created the work a case of joint authorship can be made provided some criteria are met. In the copyright laws of various jurisdictions, there is a necessity for little flexibility regarding what constitutes authorship; the United States Copyright Office, for example, defines copyright as "a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to authors of "original works of authorship". Holding the title of "author" over any "literary, musical, certain other intellectual works" gives rights to this person, the owner of the copyright the exclusive right to engage in or authorize any production or distribution of their work.
Any person or entity wishing to use intellectual property held under copyright must receive permission from the copyright holder to use this work, will be asked to pay for the use of copyrighted material. After a fixed amount of time, the copyright expires on intellectual work and it enters the public domain, where it can be used without limit. Copyright laws in many jurisdictions – following the lead of the United States, in which the entertainment and publishing industries have strong lobbying power – have been amended since their inception, to extend the length of this fixed period where the work is controlled by the copyright holder. However, copyright is the legal reassurance that one owns his/her work. Technically, someone owns their work from the time. An interesting aspect of authorship emerges with copyright in that, in many jurisdictions, it can be passed down to another upon one's death; the person who inherits the copyright enjoys the same legal benefits. Questions arise as to the application of copyright law.
How does it, for example, apply to the complex issue of fan fiction? If the media agency responsible for the authorized production allows material from fans, what is the limit before legal constraints from actors and other considerations, come into play? Additionally, how does copyright apply to fan-generated stories for books? What powers do the original authors, as well as the publishers, have in regulating or stopping the fan fiction? This particular sort of case illustrates how complex intellectual property law can be, since such fiction may involved trademark law, likeness rights, fair use rights held by the public, many other interacting complications. Authors may portion out different rights they hold to different parties, at different times, for different purposes or uses, such as the right to adapt a plot into a film, but only with different character names, because the characters have been optioned by another company for a television series or a video game. An author may not have rights when working under contract that they would otherwise have, such as when creating a work for hire, or when writing material using intellectual property owned by others.
In literary theory, critics find complications in the term author beyond what constitutes authorship in a legal setting. In the wake of postmodern literature, critics such as Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault have examined the role and relevance of authorship to the meaning or interpretation of a text. Barthes challenges the idea, he writes, in his essay "Death of the Author", that "it is language which speaks, not the author". The words and language of a text itself determine and expose meaning for Barthes, not someone possessing legal responsibility for the process of its production; every line of written text is a mere reflection of references from any of a multitude of traditions, or, as Barthes puts it, "the text is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centres of culture". With this, the perspective of the author is removed from the text, the limits imposed by the idea of one authorial voice, one ultimate and universal meaning, are destroyed; the explanation and meaning of a work does not have to be sought in the one who produced it, "as if it were always in the end, through the more or less transparent allegory of the fiction, the voice of a single person, the author'confiding' in us".
The psyche, fanaticism of an author can be disregarded when interpreting a text, because the words are rich enough themselves with all of the traditions of language. To expose meanings in a written work without appealing to the celebrity of an author, their tastes, vices, is, to Barthes, to allow language to speak, rather than author. Michel Foucault argues in his essay "What is an author?" that all authors are writers, but not all writers are authors. He states that "a private letter may have a signatory—it does not have an author". For a reader to assign the title of author upon any written work is to attribute certain standards upon the text which, for Foucault, are working in conjunction with the idea of "the author function". Foucault's author function is the idea that an author exists only as a fun
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
The American Society of Composers and Publishers is an American non-profit performance-rights organization that protects its members' musical copyrights by monitoring public performances of their music, whether via a broadcast or live performance, compensating them accordingly. ASCAP collects licensing fees from users of music created by ASCAP members distributes them back to its members as royalties. In effect, the arrangement is the product of a compromise: when a song is played, the user does not have to pay the copyright holder directly, nor does the music creator have to bill a radio station for use of a song. In 2012, ASCAP collected over US$941 million in licensing fees and distributed $828.7 million in royalties to its members, with an 11.6 percent operating expense ratio. As of July 2018, ASCAP membership included over 670,000 songwriters and music publishers, with over 11 million registered works. In the United States, ASCAP competes with four other PROs – Broadcast Music, Inc. the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers, Global Music Rights, & Pro Music Rights.
Unlike collecting societies outside the United States, ASCAP contract is non-exclusive, although it is not so simple for a foreign person to join ASCAP, it is possible. ASCAP has an office in the United Kingdom; as the artist agreement is non-exclusive, authors can license using a creative commons license. The ASCAP bill of rights states, "we have the right to choose when and where our creative works may be used for free". If an author is going to use a creative commons license with another's works, this is the only author's rights organisation that has a non-exclusive contract that a foreign person can join. If an author uses a Creative Commons license and is not a member of a performing rights organisation, the works would generate royalties, these royalties are collected and given to publishers and artists that are members of these organisations. ASCAP was founded by Victor Herbert, together with composers Louis Hirsch, John Raymond Hubbell, Silvio Hein and Gustave Kerker, a lyricist Glen MacDonough, publishers George Maxwell and Jay Witmark, a copyright attorney Nathan Burkan at the Hotel Claridge in New York City on February 13, 1914, to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members, who were writers and publishers associated with New York City's Tin Pan Alley.
ASCAP's earliest members included the era's most active songwriters—Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan, Rudolf Friml, Otto Harbach, Jerome Kern, John Philip Sousa, Alfred Baldwin Sloane, James Weldon Johnson, Robert Hood Bowers and Harry Tierney. Subsequently, many other prominent songwriters became members. In 1919, ASCAP and the Performing Rights Society of Great Britain, signed the first reciprocal agreement for the representation of each other's members' works in their respective territories. Today, ASCAP has global reciprocal agreements and licenses the U. S. performances of hundreds of thousands of international music creators. The advent of radio in the 1920s brought an important new source of income for ASCAP. Radio stations only broadcast performers live, the performers working for free. Performers wanted to be paid, recorded performances became more prevalent. ASCAP started collecting license fees from the broadcasters. Between 1931 and 1939, ASCAP increased royalty rates charged to broadcasters more than 400%.
In the late 1930s, ASCAP's general control over most music and its membership requirements were considered to be in restraint of trade and illegal under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The Justice Department abandoned the case; the Justice Department sued again in 1941, the case was settled with a consent decree in which the most important points were that ASCAP must set rates and not discriminate between customers who have the same requirements to license music, or "similar standing." Anyone, unable to negotiate satisfactory terms with ASCAP, or is otherwise unable to get a license, may go to the court overseeing the consent decree and litigate the terms they find objectionable, the terms set by the court will be binding upon the licensee and ASCAP. BMI signed a consent decree in 1941, although the terms were much more favorable to BMI than those applied to ASCAP. In 1940, when ASCAP tried to double its license fees again, radio broadcasters formed a boycott of ASCAP and founded a competing royalty agency, Broadcast Music Incorporated.
During a ten-month period lasting from January 1 to October 29, 1941, no music licensed by ASCAP was broadcast on NBC and CBS radio stations. Instead, the stations played regional music and styles, traditionally disdained by ASCAP; when the differences between ASCAP and the broadcasters were resolved in October 1941, ASCAP agreed to settle for a lower fee than they had demanded. ASCAP's membership diversified further in the 1940s, bringing along jazz and swing greats, including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson; the movies soared in popularity during the 1930s and 1940s, with them came classic scores and songs by new ASCAP members like Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, Morton Gould, Jule Styne. Classical-music composers Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein brought their compositions into the ASCAP repertory in the 1940s; the rise of rock and roll derived from both country music and rhythm and blues music caused airplay of BMI licensed songs to double that of ASCAP licensed songs.
ASCAP officials decided. So ASCAP spearheaded a congressional investigation into the prac