What is Copyright
Copyright grants authors a limited monopoly over their works, encouraging them to create new works while also creating a public domain of ideas, knowledge, and information upon which society can build.
When Is Copyright Established
Copyright is established the moment an idea is put into a fixed medium. Copyright does not require registration or the display of the copyright symbol to exist. Registration is required only if someone wishes to pursue a lawsuit.
What Can be Copyrighted
Copyright resides in the unique expression of an idea which is in a fixed medium. A fixed medium is something that can be reproduced. Copyright protects:
- Other intellectual work:
- computer programs
What Cannot be Copyrighted
- Ideas, procedures, methods
- Titles, names, slogans, listing of ingredients, or colors
- Works that are not in a fixed medium, e.g., an extemporaneous speech
- Federal Government publications
- Common knowledge
What Does Copyright Protect
Copyright grants authors the exclusive rights to:
- make copies
- sell or otherwise distribute their work
- create new works (derivatives) based upon their work
- perform or display their work in public
This brochure was created by Laura Pope Robbins in 2004 and covers 16 basic facts about copyright.