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COPYRIGHT LAW            

 

 

       A copyright law protects the writings of an author against copying.  Literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works are included within the protection of the copyright law, which in some instances also confers performing and recording rights.  The copyright law protects the form of expression rather than to the subject matter of the writing.  A description of a machine could be copyrighted as a writing, but this would only prevent others from copying the description;  it would not prevent others from writing a description of their own or from making and using the machine.  Copyrights are registered in the Copyright Office in the Library of Congress. 

 

       Copyright is the right of literary property as recognized and sanctioned by positive law.  an intangible, incorporeal right granted by statute to the author or originator of certain literary or artistic productions, whereby he is invested, for a statutorily prescribed period, the the sole and exclusive privilege of multiplying copies of the same and publishing and selling them.

 

       Copyright protection subsists in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.  Works of authorship 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.  In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.  Copyright Act, 102.

 

        Common-law copyright is an intangible, incorporeal right in an author of literary or artistic productions to reproduce and sell them exclusively and arises at the moment of their creation as distinguished from federal or statutory copyrights which exist for the most part only in published works.  Common law copyright is perpetual which statutory copyright is for term of years.  Equitable relief is available for violation of common law copyright.  The distinction which formerly existed between common law copyrights and statutory copyrights was abolished by the 1976 Copyright Act revision through 301 of the new Act specifically preserves common law copyrights accruing prior to 1978.

 

             Do Trademarks, Copyrights and Patents protect the same things?

             No. Trademarks, copyrights and patents all differ.  A copyright protects

                     an original artistic or literary work; a patent protects an invention. 

 

Federal Copyright, Title 17    

 

United States Copyright Office  

 

 

                                         


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