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Intellectual Property: Copyright Basics

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Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution. This is usually only for a limited time. The exclusive rights are not absolute but limited by limitations and exceptions to copyright law, including fair use. A major limitation on copyright is that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, and not the underlying ideas themselves.

Copyright is a form of intellectual property, applicable to certain forms of creative work. Some, but not all jurisdictions require "fixing" copyrighted works in a tangible form. It is often shared among multiple authors, each of whom holds a set of rights to use or license the work, and who are commonly referred to as rights holders. These rights frequently include reproduction, control over derivative works, distribution, public performance, and "moral rights" such as attribution.

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Intellectual Property: Copyright Basics

  1. 1. Copyright Basics Fundamentals you should know
  2. 2. What is copyright? Congress has the power, “…to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for a limited Time to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” - U.S Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 8
  3. 3. What is copyright? • Current copyright law grants the creator (author, artist, composer, etc.) the exclusive right to: o Reproduce o Prepare derivative works o Distribute copies by sale (or other transfer of ownership), rental, lease, or lending o Perform a work publicly o Display a work publicly • This right lasts for a set amount of time
  4. 4. What is protected? • Copyright law protects works that are original and fixed o Original - the work must be unique and not a copy o Fixed - the work must be written or recorded in a tangible manner (digital works are considered tangible)
  5. 5. What is not protected? • Copyright does not cover many things including: o Ideas o Titles o Processes o Works prepared by the federal government o Works that are in the public domain
  6. 6. What are Copyright Terms? • Terms are the duration of copyright • Terms vary depending on a number of factors: o Whether or not the work was published o Date of publication o If the author was an individual or a corporation o And more !
  7. 7. What are the Exceptions and Limitations? • Copyright law has several exceptions and limitations built into it • Going to focus on the two you will likely encounter most: o Fair use o Classroom exceptions • To see the others look through copyright law beginning at Section 107: https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107
  8. 8. What is fair use? • Fair use is a broad exception that allows people to use a work without permission in certain circumstances • Four factors to consider: o What is the character or purpose of the use? o What is the nature of the material being used? o How much of the work will be used? o What effect will this use have on the market for the original material?
  9. 9. How Can I Copyright My Work? • All fixed work is automatically copyrighted • Visit http://www.copyright.gov/eco/ if you do want to register your work online with the U.S. Copyright office Slides produced by the Copyright Education & Consultation Program
  10. 10. How Can I Copyright My Work? • All fixed work is automatically copyrighted • Visit http://www.copyright.gov/eco/ if you do want to register your work online with the U.S. Copyright office Slides produced by the Copyright Education & Consultation Program

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