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Facts - Books - News    U.S. Facts Of Law:

Copyright Law

A copyright is an exclusive set of rights provided to the author of a specific idea, expression or original written work.  Copyrights apply to a wide range of works including, movies, music, audio recordings, drawings, photographs, software, television broadcasts, poems, plays, designs, books, articles and similar works.

The art of creating original copy is sometimes referred to as "copywriting".

Copyright law covers the "form of material expression" but not the actual idea, facts or concept that may be presented by the work.  Subsequent works that are sufficiently different to not be considered an imitation of the original work are generally not considered to be a copyright violation of the original.  Trademark and patent laws may offer the creator of an original work protections outside the realm of copyright law.

The rights of an author to exclusivity were first provided in the U.S. through the Copyright Act of 1790.  Current copyright law is governed by the Copyright Act of 1976 as amended.

For works created after 1977 copyright protection is granted for the life of the author plus 70 years.  Corporate authored works are granted 95 years of protection from the first publication date or 120 years from the creation date whichever expires first.  All works published before 1923 are now in the public domain.  When the copyright protections for a work expire, the work enters into the public domain and may be used for any purpose by any party.  The author need not apply to the U.S. Copyright office for protection to be granted under the law.

Copyright protection is not available for any work published by the United States Government, its agents or its employees.  These publications are in the public domain.  Also in the public domain are government edicts, judicial opinions, administrative rulings, public ordinances, legislative enactments and similar documents of state, local and the federal government.

Copyright law applies to online as well as offline works.  The author of every original web page, article, image or other online work is protected under the law regardless if copyright protection has been applied for, stated or not.  The law provides for substantial penalties to those who would copy and use the original works of others.

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For The Sake Of Jobs And Culture, Copyright Law Must Be Protected The Hill Blog
The Hill blog For the sake of jobs and culture, copyright law must be protected The Hill blog While I was a student at the University of Southern California, the film studio Columbia Pictures took a gamble on me and financed my film Boyz n the Hood. That film started a conversation in mainstream culture that was not happening at that time

Songwriters Write Open Letter To RIAA Criticizing AposMoral Rights Billboard
Songwriters Write Open Letter To RIAA Criticizing 39Moral Rights Billboard A coalition of international trade bodies, representing thousands of composers, authors and songwriters from around the world, has voiced its opposition towards and more raquo

AposGreat Step Forwardapos: Industry Reacts As Congress Seeks To Fix Billboard
Billboard 39Great Step Forward39: Industry Reacts as Congress Seeks to Fix Billboard Record executives are thrilled about new bipartisan legislation, introduced in Congress late Wednesday, that would quotprovide federal protection to the digital Bill Would Set Copyright System For Pre 1972 SongsLaw360 subscription all 4 news articles raquo

EUaposs Draconian New Copyright Law Puts An Expiration Date On Startups TNW
TNW EU39s draconian new copyright law puts an expiration date on startups TNW The Copyright Reform that39s being discussed by the EU now, could crush certain type of startups when they reach the ripe age of three. We know from entrepreneurs we spoke to that they would move their business outside of Europe if this law becomes a

South Africa Takes Steps To Adjust Copyright Law To The Digital Age AllAfri... South Africa Takes Steps to Adjust Copyright Law to the Digital Age Analysis South Africa39s Parliament is debating the 2017 Copyright Amendment Bill which is aimed at aligning the country39s laws with the digital age. and more raquo


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The information provided by does not constitute legal advice or any other type of advice and is provided for educational purposes only without warranty of any kind. has not reviewed the information on this page for accuracy and is not responsible for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies.  For legal advice you should consult a licensed attorney.


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