The United States Copyright

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  • Topic: Copyright, Public domain, Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
  • Pages : 2 (517 words )
  • Download(s) : 123
  • Published : May 11, 2008
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The U.S. copyright office defines copyright as a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual work. This protection is available to authors of both published and unpublished works. A person can copyright a book, article, screenplay, movie, play, dance choreography, a work of art such as a painting, sculpture, blueprints and architectural designs, as well as musical compositions and sound recordings. The only thing that cannot be copyrighted is an idea. Only expressions of an idea can be copyrighted. Copyrighted material has to be original and tangible, and it has to be included in one of the categories mentioned above. If someone uses another’s copyrighted work without permission, that’s an infringement on the author’s rights, which means the person is illegally using the work or breaking the law. If someone wants to use copyrighted material, he or she must contact the copyright holder and get permission from him or her for a particular use.

We can copyright our work at the U.S. copyright office, which is the only place that can accept applications and issue copyright registrations. A copyright form may be available in public libraries and online. This ‘©’ symbol is the standard symbol of copyright. The nation’s first copyright law was enacted in 1790, and the first copyrights were used to protect books, maps, and charts. In the 1830s, copyright covered sheet music. In 1909, the copyright law was rewritten, and live performances were protected. A copyright cannot be continued forever. The length of a copyright’s protection of a work is based on the author’s date of death. A copyright lasts for 28 years after the author’s death if it is not renewed or 95 years for works copyrighted in the years 1923-1963; and 95 years for works copyrighted from 1964-1977. Thereafter, a copyright lasts for the length of the author’s...
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