What is a copyright and what type of work can be protected by it?

A copyright is a form of federal protection that exists for published and unpublished "original works of authorship" when they become fixed in a tangible form of expression. Copyrightable works include the following categories:

  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; and
  8. architectural works.

These categories should be viewed quite broadly. For example, computer programs (which may also be patented) and their accompanying manuals are registrable as "literary works;" advertising brochures, catalogs and maps are registrable as "pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works."

Last update on September 13, 2013 by Administrator.

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