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"Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet." - Mark Twain

Copyright on Campus

from the Copyright Clearance Center

This video is made available by the global rights licensing from the Copyright Clearance Center 

What is Copyright?

It is a common misconception that copyright indicating ownership, it does not. Copyright provides protection to the creators of original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright is Federal law and In the United States, s administered by the U.S. Copyright Office. Many countries have similar counterparts, actual laws and regulations may vary among countries, but the basic premise is the same.

Copyright provided certain exclusive rights to creators:

  • The right to reproduce the work.
  • The right to prepare derivative works based on the original work.
  • The right to distribute copies of the work to the public.
  • The right to perform or display the work publicly.
  • The right to transfer, lease, or sale any of the rights to others. 

What Does Copyright Protect?

Copyright right protects includes but is not limited to books, photographs, poetry, software, music, plays, songs, novels and other literary works, audio recordings, and even architecture. Copyright does not, protect intangibles such as ideas, methods of operation, or systems. Also copyright does not protect things that are not attributable to a creator, such as facts.

Of course copyright may may protect the method of expression that conveys intangibles. se things. For example, ideas that is written down, books of fiction that contain a verifiable facts, diagrams of specific methods of operation, can be protected by copyright law.

Another important aspect of copyright is that it protects both published and unpublished works. For example, if you write a book but never have it published, and no one but you ever even reads it, your work is still protected by copyright law. Other examples of unpublished works include your class assignments and photographs you take with your camera or cell phones. 

When Does Copyright Start?

Copyright starts immediately. As soon as you put pen to paper, brush to canvas, or fingers to keyboard, take the photograph you create create something original which is automatically copyrighted. Although not required by law, it's a good idea to add the copyright symbol to the things you create. Remember, not having the symbol doesn't mean content isn't still protected by copyright.

How Long Does Copyright Last?