Copyrightable Material

From LegalLanding

Copyright law for the United States is described under Title 17 of the United States Code. A complete copy of Title 17 can be found here.

Copyright applies to all intellectual creations that fulfill both of the following criteria:

  • Original work of authorship (easily fulfilled if there is some small but distinguishable note of creativity)
  • Fixed in a tangible medium of expression, including digital expression (ie not a thought or verbal expression)

Any work which fulfills the above criteria is instantly covered by copyright protection upon creation. It is not necessary for copyright notice to be placed on the work for it to be protected by copyright law. However, you may wish to brand the work with a copyright notice regardless. Official registration of a copyright at the Copyright Office is also optional and has several benefits, as described in Filing for Copyright.

Works that fall under copyright protection are maps, charts, engravings, prints, musical compositions, dramatic works, photographs, paintings, drawings, sculptures, motion pictures, computer programs, sound recordings, choreography and architectural works.

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