January 1, 1900
What is a copyright?
What rights do copyrights provide?
How is a copyright acquired?
What are the benefits of registration with the U.S. Copyright Office?
How long does a copyright last?
How should a copyright notice be used?
What is a "work made for hire"?
A: A copyright gives the "author" a limited property right in his or her work. A copyright protects any original work of authorship set in a tangible medium of expression through which it is communicated to others directly or by a machine or device. Examples of works of authorship include literary works, musical works, dramatic works, pictorial works, architectural works and motions pictures. Additionally, "works of authorship" is an expansive enough rubric to include any other type of expression fixed in real communicative medium, like computer programs or cartoon characters.
A: A copyright confers to its holder the exclusive rights to: reproduce the copyrighted work; make derivative works; distribute, sell, transfer, lease, rent, or lend the work to others; and publicly perform and publicly display the works. These exclusive rights are, however, subject to certain limitations.
A: For works created after January 1, 1978, a federal copyright arises automatically once the original work of authorship is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Works created prior to January 1, 1978 are subject to a dual system of federal and state law copyright. Although registration provides many benefits, it is not required to acquire a copyright.
A: There are three primary benefits to registration. First, registration is required in order to bring a lawsuit for copyright infringement. Second, registration prior to an infringement and within three months of publication permits the copyright owner to recover certain statutory damages and costs (i.e. attorney's fees) which would not otherwise be available. Finally, the U.S. Copyright Office will issue a certificate of registration which serves as proof of ownership as well as the other facts contained therein.
A: For works created after January 1, 1978, that are not works made for hire, the duration is the life of the author plus 70 years after the author's death. For works made for hire, the copyright term endures for the lesser of 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation. For works created prior to January 1, 1978, determining the duration of a copyright is more complicated and depends on when and whether the work was published or registered.
A: For works first published on or after March 1, 1989, copyright notice is no longer a prerequisite to copyright protection. However, copyright notice is still widely used and recommended because it warns potential infringers of the copyright and indicates to potential licensees the name of the copyright owner. Proper copyright notice contains the symbol © (or the word "Copyright"), the name of the copyright owner and the date of first publication.
A: Under U.S. Copyright Law, the author of a work may be someone other than the person who physically created the work. A work is considered a work made for hire if it is prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment or, if pursuant to a written agreement, a work is specially ordered or commissioned for use as part of another work (i.e. motion picture, instructional text). In such instances the author and copyright owner will be the employer or person commissioning the work.
Posted in: Intellectual Property & Technology