Copyright law protects creative works of authorship regardless of whether those works are enacted in a physical form or only electronically accessed. Although the term might sound complicated, it is the most prevalent and basic of all of the personal property rights law. The law protects books, music, computer software, designs, logos, paintings, inventions, programs, trademarks, and other literary and artistic creations of individuals or businesses. When one talks about copyright law, one generally considers protected work that has been prepared by an individual or a business, as opposed to works of art, architecture, or other categories of intangible work.
Copyright law is divided into two main categories: Constitutional law and Jurisdiction law. Within these two branches, there are two main branches: Federal and State. To make this easier to understand, we’ll see each of these two branches below.
Constitutional copyright law protects the Constitutional rights of individuals or entities. Usually, copyright protection is allowed for a term of fourteen years from the date of creation, but copyright protection can extend further in certain circumstances. Additionally, there are some exclusive rights that copyright law protects against infringement. One of these exclusive rights is the right to reproduce, perform, or distribute the work. This reproduction must be done with the permission of the copyright holder.
Under copyright protection law, you can see circulars that identify the particular pieces of literary, dramatic, or artistic compositions that have been copyrighted. The copyright office publishes a catalogue that contains a list of copyrightable works on its website. There are seven general categories of copyrightable works, including Literary Work, Dramatic Compositions, Music, Photographs, and cinematograph films and copies. The United States Copyright Office has published a complete listing of copyrightable works that may be reproduced or distributed. These catalogues are published online as a part of their website. However, please note that you should consult an attorney before copying any materials from these catalogues.
In terms of copyright law, one important area to note is that, like many other elements of liturgy and law, it is a comparative language. Comparative terms can be compared to determine whether a work that infringes the copyright of another work is indeed a violation of copyright law. For example, the words “a novel”, “a painting”, and “a song” would all be considered a single work when compared under the common law system. However, if one were to compare, say, a painting with the words of Shakespeare, then the two works would almost certainly be found to be distinct works. Similarly, under the common law system, legal defences could be raised against someone who was performing “unaided” hypnosis on another person, and if found, would not constitute a copyright violation.
If a work is protected by copyright, then it will have been copyrighted with a notice that will provide the copyright owner with a period during which they may license their creation to others to use to earn revenue from that work. When an author is selling a copyrightable work, they are typically only able to do so for a set period of time. This is known as the term of copyright. This is a critical factor in determining whether a work of fiction can legally be sold and in what amount. A literary work, for example, may only be licensed to sell for a specific amount of time, while a musical composition may be licensed indefinitely.
The copyright law also requires that any copies of a work are made with the owner’s permission. However, when copyright is originally registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, it is typically only realized upon the death of the copyright owner, or upon the request of an interested third party. It is not required to register a copyright before you own the copyright; however, you must do so unless agreeing to certain conditions. For instance, if you sell your copyright, you must hold the copyright for a prescribed amount of time after which time it becomes public domain.
Today, the internet has made it extremely easy for copyright law to be researched and to obtain copies of works in any form. If you have a copyright, you may wish to write a small booklet to provide information about your copyright and its importance to the modern age. Even if you own a copyright, you may want to create a website to promote your works. With research and knowledge, you will have no problem fulfilling your copyright responsibilities and obtaining what you deserve!