Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Copyrights 101 - Part 1

Let's Start At the Beginning....

As promised, here is the first installment of many when it comes to copyrights. Today we will be looking at what a copyright is...really. This month we will be taking a look at all the "ins and outs" from an educational perspective. My goal is to give you enough thoughts so that you can ask the rights questions for your business, art, etc.

Here's the US Copyright Office Definition...

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (Title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:
  • To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
  • To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
  • To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
  • To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
  • To display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; and
  • In the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

The to remembering what a copyright is: a unique expression with a bundle of rights attached that attaches at the moment of creation. (Tammy's condensed version).

Ideas, techniques, phrases, processes, and the like are not covered under copyright. Although, I can give you a quick preview of an upcoming blog - sometimes they can. However, most of the types of items listed in the first sentence are covered under patents or trademarks. Many artists fall into a trap in thinking that copyright is a "one-stop" shop. Consider this your vocabulary word for the day - COPYRIGHT!

Copyrights cover the following items:

  • literary works;
  • musical works, including any accompanying words
  • dramatic works, including any accompanying music
  • pantomimes and choreographic works
  • pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  • motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • sound recordings
  • architectural works

That's enough for today to digest. That certainly is a lot...I know! But the key to securing the assets of your business when things have been but aside is to take things slowly but surely.


Margot's comment sparked an idea (which I would try to patent because it is an idea, but I am not). On Friday, I will pick one topic based on a comment or comments that I have received throughout the week. On Thursday I will go through all the comments and look at what people are saying, suggesting for topics and the like - I will then make that the subject of my Friday or Weekend Blog. This can be any subject. Remember, it is on a topic (not questions - which blog comments are not the best for!). So...I challenge you. You can try to "stump me" or just get a discussion going! The key - POST COMMENTS!

Have a great "midweek" and remember

Create with your Heart and Your Head!


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The Fine Print!

Since there may be legal discussions going on...there must be a disclaimer!

This blog is for educational and information purposes only. It does not constitute the practice of law. The attorney who writes this blog is only licensed in the State of Ohio and Michigan. There is NO attorney-client relationship of any type. You must sign appropriate documenation and have appropriate new client counseling to be a client of Browning-Smith, P.C. Each and every situation is different and all readers must seek his or her own legal counsel. The information on this blog is not guaranteed for any purposes nor is it to be relied on.