Copyright 101

copyright-symbol blueIn recent years copyright protection across the globe has become more challenging due to technological developments that make content distribution extremely inexpensive and accessible due to an upsurge in the consumption of Internet associated platforms. Grrr! Let’s face it, safeguarding our work is perplexing to many as we scratch our heads wondering what is and isn’t secure. So, let’s get down to business and discuss copyright.

What is a Copyright?

Copyright is a law that affords you ownership over the materials you produce. Whether it is a game, a novel, a portrait, a puzzle, a snapshot, a song or a poem, if you generated it, you own it and it’s the copyright law itself that guarantees that ownership. The ownership that copyright law grants comes with several privileges that you, as the owner, have exclusively. Copyright law grants you exclusive rights to allocate copies, to formulate derivative works, to perform the work, to reproduce your work, and to showcase the work publicly.
In a nutshell, these are your rights and your rights only. And no one can violate them legally; however, all that changes when you willingly relinquish your rights.
This means that, unless you state otherwise, no one can implement something manufactured by you or make replicas of it, even with attribution, without your consent.

What can be copyrighted?

Architectural works, choreographic works, compilations of works and derivative works, computer programs, dramatic works, illustrative and literary works, motion pictures and other AV works, musical works, pantomimes, photographical works, sculptural works, and sound recordings.

What cannot be copyrighted?

Ideas. Nope, cookie cakes, your mind-blowing ideas which are guaranteed to place you on the Forbes list alongside Buffet, Gates, Winfrey, and Zuckerberg cannot be copyrighted. Nor can developments, facts, impromptu speeches that are not written or documented, names, news, methods, procedures, research, short phrases, slogans, techniques, titles, and works in the public domain are not copyrightable.

How long does copyright last?

Works created on or after January 1, 1978 are protected for a term of the life of the author plus 70 years. If it is a collective author then the protection is for the shorter of 95 years from publication or 120 years from construction. Works formed and distributed prior to 1978 may be secure for a different term.

What is the Public Domain?

The public domain comprises of all works that at no time had copyright protection and works that no longer have copyright safety. Works printed in the United States prior to 1923 fall under public domain. All works in the public domain are free for the public to use, which also includes most works designed by the United States government.

What is Attribution?

Attribution is acknowledgment for the creator or holder of original work. It credits artists, musicians, novelists, playwrights or publishers. If you’re utilizing someone else’s copyrighted work to craft another work, don’t fool yourself into thinking your rear is covered by crediting the sources because it isn’t. Just mentioning a source isn’t enough to shield you from a copyright infringement lawsuit and a ruling to pay reparations to the owner.
Until next time, cookie cakes!

Founder, CEO and Publisher

Copyright © 2014 by Diane Morasco. All Rights Reserved.