Brenda L. Speer, LLC

 

Glossary - Copyrights

The firm can assist you with pursuing copyright protection, as well as permissions clearance, infringement analyses, copyright registration searches, and licensing and enforcing your copyrights.

Some people confuse patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Although there may be some overlap among these kinds of intellectual property protection, they are different and serve different purposes.

What is a Copyright?
Copyright protection is for original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression.

Works of authorship include:

• 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; and
• Architectural works.

The copyright owner has the exclusive right to:

• Reproduce the work;
• Prepare derivative works;
• Distribute copies;
• Perform the work publicly; and
• Display the work publicly.

The term of a copyright varies, depending upon what type of author created the work. The copyright in a work created by an individual endures for the life of the author plus 70 years; an anonymous work, pseudonymous work or work for hire endures until the first to expire of 95 years from publication of the work or 120 years from creation of the work.

Copyrights protect the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the work. For example, a description of a machine could be copyrighted, but this would only prevent others from copying the description; it would not prevent others from writing a description of their own or from making and using the machine. Copyrights are registered by the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress.