Length of Copyright: Life of author plus 70 years.
Public domain materials: Anything copyrighted before and including 1922 is now in the public domain and can be used freely.
Copyright is automatic and only two requirements need to be satisfied. First, the work needs to be an original work of authorship and secondly, the work needs to be in a tangible form (paper, diskette, web page, etc.)
Because copyright is automatic, the traditional four elements of copyright do not need to be present. However, it is helpful to add the four traditional elements. For example: Copyright © 2002, Tash'n'Gei Productions. After these elements, it also might be beneficial to add this as well: All Rights Reserved.
Because copyright is automatic, an original work of authorship does not need to be registered with the U. S. Copyright Office. However, registering and paying the registration fee provides benefits. If your registered work is illegally used and a court case ensues and you win, you will be reimbursed attorney's fees by the infringer and receive much more monetary gain for the infringement.
What is copyrightable?
- Literary works
- Musical works, including any accompanying words
- Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
- Pantomimes and choreographic works
- Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
- Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
- Sound recordings
- Architectural works
- Semi-conductor chip products
Who owns the copyright?
The original creator or the work may have been a work made for hire. There may be institutional policies involved and because copyright is property, there can be a transfer or assignment of copyright (whole or in part) to individuals, institutions and corporations or a combination of these.
The Copyright Law mandates six exclusive rights to the copyright holder:
- The right to reproduce the work
- The right to distribute the work
- The right to publicly perform the work
- The right to publicly display the work
- The right to make derivative works
- The inclusion of moral rights [for visual arts]
The copyright owner has complete control over his/her work. Without legislated exemptions, education would not be able to use copyrighted materials. You can review one those exemptions by reading the section on this web site dealing with educational fair use.
(Used with permission of Ball State University, Copyright and Intellectual Property Office © 2008)
- U.S. Copyright Office ©
- Copyright & Electronic Resources (Ball State)
- Copyright Crash Course (University of Texas)
- Copyright Advisory Office (Columbia University Libraries)
- Purdue University Copyright Office
- Understanding Fair Use (including Transformative Use) (University of Minnesota)
- Copyright (Kansas State University)
- Copyright: How did transformative use become fair use?
- Copyright and Distance Education. Change; Nov/Dec2003, V. 35 Iss. 6, p34, 6p, 3c (via EBSCO's Academic Search Premier)
- Copyright Issues in Digital Media (Congressional Budget Office, August 2004)
- Know Your Copy Rights-A Free Brochure Aimed at Faculty and Teaching Assistants
- Copyright Basics video
- Copyright on Campus video
- A Fair(y) Use Tale
- How does fair-use law work?
- Copyright Infringement in Music
- Copyright Infringement in Art
- Penn & Teller Sue over Copyright Infringement
- YouTube removes "Buffy vs Edward" remix despite Fair Use
- Superman, Sherlock Holmes, and Wild Things
- CETA and Copyright Extension
- Google Books and HathiTrust win
- How an eBay bookseller defeated a publishing giant at the Supreme Court
- Copyright vs Revenge Porn
- What about non-humans?
- Trademarks ®
- Virtual Academic Integrity Tutorial -- covers how students can avoid plagiarism and how instructors can detect it
- Research Guide on copyright from Ivy Tech
- New York Times reporter resigns amidst charges of plagiarism
- NPR Acknowledges Plagiarism In 10 Music Stories
- School Superintendent resigns just weeks after plagiarism incident
- University President Retires, and Plagiarism Probe Ends
- German defence minister resigns in PhD plagiarism row
- Conflicting verdicts on Romanian prime minister's plagiarism
- Hungary President quits in plagiarism scandal