Elements of a Copyright - Explained
What is Required for a Copyright?
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What are the requirements for establishing copyrights?
Federal law governs the creation of copyrights. Unlike some other forms of intellectual property, there is no need to file or register the copyright. Copyright protection arises when an expression is an original and creative work that is affixed to a tangible medium.
Next Article: Time Period for Copyright Protection Back to: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW
What is an Original Work?
The expression must be the original work or creation of the author. That is, it must be sufficiently distinct from existing works so as to demonstrate some level of uniqueness in the content or organization of the content. This means that the work must be created and not copied.
Note: Facts are not original works; rather, the are recitations of certain truths. Expressions containing facts can, however, be protected by copyright depending upon the selection and arrangement of those facts.
What does it mean to be Affixed to a Tangible Medium?
The creative expression must be affixed to a tangible medium. This means that the copyrighted work must be recorded in a tangible format. A tangible format may include recording the work on paper, canvas, hard surface, digital device (such as a camera, hard drive, or video recorder), etc. If a expression is made without recording it to any form of tangible medium, it does not receive copyright protection. In fact, if the expression is communicated to the public prior to being recorded, it may find itself in the public domain and incapable of copyright protection.
What is a Creative Expression?
The expression must show some aspects of creativity. The expression cannot be entirely obvious or commonly understood. Logical arrangements of facts lack the required creativity. Forms that simply record information are generally not considered to be creative expressions.
Example: The alphabetical arrangement of a telephone book is not a creative expression.
What is Automatic Copyright Protection?
As stated above, pursuant to the Copyright Act of 1976, an expression that meets the requirements for copyright receive automatic protection. Federal registration of the copyright is available and does offer unique advantages to the holder of the copyright. Registration puts the world on notice of the copyright. Whether registered or not, the owner of a copyrighted work may use the symbol to indicate her claimed rights in the work. No form of public notice, such as use of the copyright symbol, is required for protection.
How is the process for establishing copyrights different from other forms of intellectual property? Why do you think this is the case? Is there any argument for requiring a copyright holder to provide notice to the public of the claimed copyrights?
Dora is writing a screenplay. She is worried about individuals copying her work and claiming it as their own. Can you explain to her the requirements for securing copyrights in her work?
- Intellectual Property Law (Intro)
- What is Intellectual Property?
- What is the purpose in granting intellectual property rights?
- What is required to capture or secure intellectual property rights?
- California Labor Code 2870
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- Non-Disclosure Agreement
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- Letters Patent
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- Can your Invention be Patented?
- What is a Patentability Search?
- When is a Patentability Search Necessary?
- Why is a Patent Search Important?
- Requirements for a design patent?
- How to Do a Design Patent Search
- Cost of a Design Patent
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- Plant Patent?
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- Patent Search
- Basics of Doing a Patent Search
- 5 Rules for Effective Patent Searches
- What are Patent Databases?
- Tools for Patent Searches
- DIY Patent Search
- Understanding Patent Keyword Searches
- Patent Searches for Software
- Doing a European Patent Search
- WIPO Patent Search
- Cost of Doing a Patent Search
- Patent Search vs Patent Analysis
- Structure of a Patent
- Patent Filing Date
- Patent Attorney
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- Applying for Provisional Patent
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- Determining whether a trademark is sufficient distinctive?
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- Conducting Trademark Search
- Should I Conduct a Trademark Search?
- Trademark Application
- Drawing a Trademark
- Filing for federal trademark registration?
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- Trademark infringement?
- Enforce trademark rights?
- Demonstrate infringement of a trademark?
What is a copyright?
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA Explained
- Basics of Copyright Law
- What are the rights of a holder of a copyright?
- What are the elements of a copyright?
- How long is the period of copyright protection?
- What is the process for registering a copyright?
- Who may claim and secure copyright protection?
- What are infringement and the process for enforcing a copyright?
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- Public Domain Works
- Licensing Agreement
- End User License Agreement
- What is Fair Use of copyright?
- What is the First Sale Doctrine?
- What international protections exist for intellectual property rights?
- Paris Convention