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A copyright protects the original works of authorship. Copyright protection gives the author specific rights which the author can sell or give to others or keep for themselves. Copyright protection is set in the U.S. Constitution which enables Congress to pass laws encouraging useful art.
Copyrights can be given to creators of movies, musical works, paintings, photos, live performances, television broadcasts, literary works, sound broadcasts and software. Both published and unpublished works can be copyrighted. Generally, the Copyright Act provides the owner of the copyright with the right to:
- Perform or display the work in public
- Distribute copies of the work by sale, lease or transfer of ownership
- Prepare derivative works
- Reproduce the work
Copyright law only applies to the form or manner in which information or ideas have been manifested. Therefore, an idea, concept, fact or technique contained in a form of material expression cannot be copyrighted.
If you need legal assistance obtaining a copyright or are involved in a copyright dispute, complete the free case review form on the right. Our copyright attorneys will review your claim, at no cost to you.