The legal protection known as “copyright” has come front and center over the past few years with major legal rulings regarding peer-to-peer networks on the Internet. Copyright protection, however, can be a confusing area of the law. This article details what can and cannot be protected by copyright.
Copyright Protection? – Yes
Copyright protects “original works of authorship” in a tangible, fixed form of expression. The material does need to be directly perceptible as long as it can be expressed with the aid of technology. A good example of this is a movie, which requires a projection device of some sort.
Materials that can be copyrighted include:
1. Literary works;
2. Musical works, including any accompanying words
3. Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
4. Pantomimes and choreographic works
5. Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
6. Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
7. Sound recordings
8. Architectural works
Each of these categories is traditionally given a very broad reading. For instance, “literary works” include computer programs and plans for building a home are considered “pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works.” While copyright cuts a broad path, it doesn’t cover everything.
Protected by Copyright? – No
If a work is not tangible, copyright protection will not apply. This can lead to confusion, so here are a few categories not eligible for protection from copyright:
1. Works that are not fixed. For example, the statements made by experts at a round table discussion or a comedian’s stage act.
2. Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans. These materials may be eligible for patent protection.
3. Ideas, procedures and methods.
Disclaimer: The contents of this site, such as text, graphics, images, and other materials contained on the page are for general information purposes only. This article is not a substitute for professional advice on the topics mentioned. This article does not create any form of offers to any legal or professional service. The site assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents. In no event shall the site be liable for any special, direct, indirect, consequential, or incidental damages or any damages whatsoever, whether in an action to follow the content, negligence or other tort, arising out of the use of the contents of the article. The blog reserves the right to make additions, deletions, or modifications to the contents at any time without prior notice. The site does not warrant that the site is free of viruses or other harmful components. It may contain views and opinions which are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other author, agency, organization, employer or company, including the site itself. It also does not provide professional advice, diagnosis, treatment or any legal service. The site does not endorse official procedures, legal actions or qualified services and the use of its contents are solely at your own risk.